By Arturo R. García
Racialicious owner Latoya Peterson took part in a panel discussion moderated by Yahoo News host Katie Couric on Thursday regarding not only the death of Eric Garner, but the distrust characterizing the relationship between the New York Police Department and residents.
The discussion began with Couric interviewing Erica Garner and Eric Garner Jr., Garner’s children.
“Why didn’t the EMS help him if their job is to help people?” Erica Garner asked at one point. “I feel they treated him like an animal.”
Peterson and blogger Franchesca Ramsey then joined Couric to discuss how the case has stimulated conversation online.
“It’s just raw emotion, what’s happening,” Peterson said. “It’s not just unfortunately Eric Garner’s situation. It’s also in the aggregate, looking at everything that’s happened, with the summer, every 28 hours and all these campaigns, it’s really leading people to organize on social media and to be able to rise up and say, ‘We do not want to accept this any longer. This isn’t gonna be our world, and it shouldn’t be our world.’”
The discussion continued with a panel featuring comedian W. Kamau Bell, former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly and journalist Dion Rabouin, a talk that featured several clashes between Kelly and Bell, who admitted he did not feel safe with Kelly in the room.
“I’ve been taught to treat cops like pitbulls,” Bell says at one point.
“Who taught you that?” Kelly responds.
“The Black community,” Bell shoots back. “Would you like their names and numbers?”