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Black Law Enforcement Groups Blast PBA Stance on Eric Garner Death

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TWC News: Black Law Enforcement Groups Blast PBA Stance on Eric Garner Death
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Several black law enforcement organizations on Friday called out the city's police unions over their handling of the Eric Garner case.

They gathered outside the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association headquarters in Lower Manhattan to blast both them and the sergeants' union for quickly coming to the defense of the officers involved in Garner's arrest.

"And it makes every good cop, no matter what color he is, job even harder when there's no accountability for those officers that cross the line," said Damon Jones of Blacks in Law Enforcement in America.

The organizations said it is wrong to say officers did not use a chokehold when cell phone video shows otherwise.

Garner died last month on Staten Island as police tried to arrest him for selling untaxed cigarettes.

The organizations are also calling out PBA President Pat Lynch for criticizing the city medical examiner after Garner's death was ruled a homicide.

Lynch also said Garner shouldn't have resisted arrest.

"It's ludicrous for Patty Lynch, a longtime police officer, to declare that that officer did not used an unauthorized tactic, which is a chokehold," said Noel leader of 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care.

Corey Pegues of the Law Enforcement Alliance retired this year as the commanding officer at the 67th Precinct in Brooklyn.

"Not one time did I have training that told me to come behind somebody, jump on their neck, put all my weight on him, drag him to the ground," he said.

"Come back out and apologize to these communities for the statements that they're making," said Dennis Jones of the Law Enforcement Alliance.

In response, Lynch said he supports their right to express their opinion but is standing by the officers involved.

In a statement, he added, "We are not apologetic for the vehement defense of our members and our strong opposition to the rush to judgment in the tragic death of Mr. Garner."

One of Garner's cousins stood silently with the group, but Frank Graham voiced his outrage. He's the father of Ramarley Graham, an unarmed teenager shot and killed by police in the Bronx in 2012.

"You need to think twice before you say some of the things you say, because all you're doing is dividing the city," Frank Graham said.

The group said while it doesn't believe the officer wanted to kill Garner, someone must be punished.

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