NEW YORK (PIX11) -- While Eric Garner’s family lays him to rest and calls intensify for change within the NYPD, not everyone is convinced the officer's use of force on video rises to the level of excessive.
It’s not a popular opinion and Garner’s supporters are quick to explain why.
“If a civilian on the street was to murder somebody, they’d be in jail doing twenty five to life. That’s what these cops deserve. Nothing less,” remarked one of Garner’s friends.
But Maki Haberfeld, professor of police science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, says in her view the officers followed proper protocol.
“I see them following the continuum of force. Going by the book, so to speak. Unfortunately, as bad as it looks to somebody, who views the use of force, I always emphasize the force looks very ugly,” said Professor Haberfeld.
The “Use of Force Continuum."
Remember that term, because you’re going to hear it a lot as the Garner case unfolds.
As defined by the National Institute of Justice, the research arm of the US Justice Department, the continuum is a set of policies that “describes an escalating series of actions an officer may take to resolve a situation.”
“Pain Compliance” is a stage along the continuum.
Professor Haberfeld says investigators will ultimately have to determine if NYPD officer Dan Pantaleo’s hold on Garner was an accepted “Pain Compliance technique” or an illegal chokehold.
And if you’re wondering whether a Taser, the next stage along the “Use Of Force Continuum," would have led to a non-fatal encounter, former NYPD officer and security consultant Sal Lifrieri (Twitter @slifrieri) warns the device is not a perfect solution.
If you have someone with a medical condition, that may aggravate the situation. So there are risks and rewards on both sides, and it's use is closely monitored, which is why the New York city police department is utilizing it for supervisors, said Lifrieri.