Wu Tang Clan's RZA on Eric Garner: 'Police give us the non-value of black life'

The rapper says that the police officer should have been indicted

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The Independent Online

Although Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA doesn’t have issue with all police, he does think that some are responsible for the unfair treatment and perception of the black community.

The rapper and music producer asserted that the Eric Garner case wasn’t solely related to racial inequality, but that it was also “about empowering a man who didn’t have power before and who overexerted his power”.

Garner was arrested by New York City police in Staten Island near to where RZA grew up for selling loose cigarettes, and died after being placed in an illegal chokehold in July.

CCTV footage captured the scene and showed Mr Garner repeatedly cry out: “I can’t breathe.”

“Those gentlemen were wrong — the cop had a utility belt of options for different escalating scenarios,” RZA told Gawker.

“He had a stick, pepper spray, he had his physical training ... but to jump up on him? It looked like a gang fight, and that's totally wrong. The cops had other options — I've been pepper sprayed before, it's 100 per cent efficient. You gonna chill out. It's a chill pill.”

Garner’s death and a grand jury’s decision not to prosecute NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo, provoked widespread anger and a mix of violent and peaceful protests.

The death of another black teenager, Antonio Martin, by police gunfire in Missouri today has sparked fresh protests following months of unrest about alleged police racism.

RZA believes Pantaleo should have been indicted, based on the footage proving the chokehold.

“The real problem I have with it is that we got the guy [police officer Daniel Pantaleo] red-handed, in HD quality,” he said. “And not just the one cop, all those cops should have been indicted. Those are the guys who give us the non-value of black life.

He questioned why “the system works, but only in places”.

“When you run a red light, the camera light flashes and takes a picture of your plate. You will get a ticket, you will get charged,” he said. “Because there's a picture, whether it shows your face or not. Here we have a man who was killed and there is a clear image of it, but there's no indictment.”