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Clueless Cop Designs T-Shirts That Make Light Of Eric Garner’s Death

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A police officer in Indiana found it ‘confrontational’ when the Notre Dame women’s basketball team wore “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirts in protest of the handling of Eric Garner‘s case. His response? Make his own t-shirt that reads “Breathe easy, don’t break the law”. It’s okay, though, that message obviously can’t be confrontational, because it supports the police!Clueless Cop Designs T Shirts That Make Light Of Eric Garner s Death breathe easy dont break the law t shirt 640x328 png

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Jason Barthel is a police officer in Mishawaka, Indiana, and also the owner of the South Bend Uniform Company, which does sewing and embroidery work on local police uniforms as well as selling extremely disturbing t-shirts. And while Barthel found the Notre Dame protest to be troubling, his own shirts, he told Raw Story, are intended to be ‘uniting and positive’. Gosh, can’t we all get behind the sentiment that if you break the law, you’re also surrendering your access to air?

In a statement on the South Bend Uniform Company’s Facebook page, Barthel explained that anyone upset by the shirt just didn’t get what he was trying to do here!

For those upset, please understand when we use the slogan “Breathe Easy” we are referring to knowing the police are there for you! We are one people, one nation regardless of race, religion, creed or gender. We are all in this together. The police are here to protect and serve. 99.9% of us have the greater good in our hearts each time we strap on our uniforms and duty belts. We are all one people and this is by no means is a slam on Eric Garner or his family, God rest his soul. Lets all band together as AMERICANS regardless of our feelings and know we can and will be better! Thank you for your support.

Oh, he’s just referring to knowing the police are there for you! This totally has nothing to do with Eric Garner’s death, and gosh, how could anyone think this is an utterly disrespectful way to respond to protests in his honor? We’re all one people despite our differences and despite the way the law and society treats us completely unequally based on those differences. And of course we all have to band together regardless of our feelings, by which of course I mean that we all have to band together in unequivocal support of the police no matter what. If you think we need to band together in support of black people executed by the police, though, you’re being confrontational and you should probably stop that at once. Geez.

It’s true that the Founding Fathers didn’t add an entry for ‘oxygen’ to the Bill of Rights, so I can see how some people might be confused as to whether law-breakers are actually entitled to the stuff. The Sixth Amendment, however, does mention something about ‘the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State’. I’m not a constitutional scholar, but it seems like this does rather imply that maybe the police ought not to act as judge, jury, and executioner. But then, I guess it doesn’t specifically say that you’re supposed to be alive at your trial. So if anything like this ever came before the Supreme Court, Antonin Scalia would probably find a way to interpret it to mean that anything goes as far as the use of force during arrests. And if that thought doesn’t let you breathe easy, well, I can’t imagine what would.

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