The assassination in cold blood of two NYPD officers helps no one, and, yes, everyone should decry it. I have empathy for our police who put their lives on the line so we may live safely free of anarchy. I also have empathy for Mr. Garner who was ridiculously choked to death by out-of-control NYPD officers abridging their own codes of police conduct. Their assault and killing of Mr. Garner because of a woefully minor offense allegedly selling "loosie" cigarettes should be an affront to all of us.
One does NOT have to say one cares less about one death and everything about another. All of the killings were bad. The pertinent question, of course, is if Mr. Garner were not choked to death by an NYPD officer and a sidecar of other NYPD pile ons would the assassination of the NYPD officers yesterday have happened? It could have as the killer of the cops was mentally deranged. He killed his girlfriend too. The question if the Garner police killing did not happen would the two assassinated police officers be alive today is unknowable.
My instincts tell me the shooting of the NYPD police may not have happened if the African-American community were not, all over the nation, so enraged at the perceived unjust treatment of them at the hands of law enforcement. Moreover, the shoddy prosecution of police perpetrators who commit egregious crimes should be an embarrassment to the nation. It flies in the face of prosecutorial justice and civilization's ethical codes of conduct for police who enforce the law. The police are, after all, the only ones the public trusts to protect us and to carry weapons, the specific purpose of which is to threaten and/or kill.
While our blue mood nation may have lit the spark for the policemen’s deaths we can never know that for sure because a whole community did not kill the NYPD officers but one out-of-his-mind man did!