Today at the Intersection of Racism and Fat Hatred

[Content Note: Police brutality; racism; fat hatred.]

Last night, Republican Representative Pete King, who is a nightmare, appeared on CNN's "The Situation Room" in order to defend the cop who killed Eric Garner, saying Garner died because he was fat.
NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo was not charged in the death of Eric Garner, 43, whom he put in a chokehold during a July confrontation over Garner's selling loose, untaxed cigarettes. Garner, who suffered from asthma and other health problems, later died in the hospital and the city's medical examiner ruled his death a homicide.

"You had a 350-pound person who was resisting arrest. The police were trying to bring him down as quickly as possible," King said in an appearance on CNN's "The Situation Room." "If he had not had asthma and a heart condition and was so obese, almost definitely he would not have died from this. The police had no reason to know he was in serious condition."

The confrontation between Pantaleo and Garner was also caught on video that showed Garner repeatedly telling the officer he couldn't breathe. King said police hear that kind of thing all the time.

"But if you can't breathe, you can't talk," he argued.

The Long Island congressman also dismissed the idea that any racial animus played into Garner's death.

"I have no doubt, if that were a 350-pound white guy, he would have been treated the same," King told CNN.
So, racism played no part in it a white cop killing a black man, and it's all that black man's fault for being so fat. Cool theory.

(I will just quickly observe that there are plenty of fat people for whom asthma is not a result of being fat. Sometimes, in, fact, it's precisely the other way around.)

King is certainly not the only person to float this theory. In fact, the police tried that from go: Before the medical examiner's report was even done, the official line was that Garner just had a heart attack.

They probably figured they could say a fat man had a heart attack and no one would question it. Because fatties.

And why not? This happened in a city primed by the former mayor to view fat people as dangerous and diseased.

Eric Garner did not die because he was fat. He died because a police officer who doesn't agree that Black Lives Matter put him in an illegal chokehold and because his chest was lethally compressed as multiple officers who also don't agree that Black Lives Matter piled on top of him.

But in a world where truth doesn't matter, Garner is dead because he is fat and the officer merely used a wrestling move on him.

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