How to breathe easy…don’t break the law

Breathe-easy-shirt

With the wave of activism in the US and more hashtagging and t-shirt activism over “I can’t breathe” a cop has taken them all on with his own shirt,

In recent weeks, we have seen basketball players go on the court for warm ups before games wearing t-shirts that say, “I Can’t Breathe.” In fact, the entire Phoenix Suns basketball team entered the court earlier this week wearing the t-shirts. NBA stars Kobe Bryant and LeBron James also participated in making a statement by wearing the shirt. This is their way of showing support and bringing attention to the death of Eric Garner in New York.

While the police officer involved in the arrest during which Garner suffered a health emergency and subsequently died was not indicted in his death, some on both sides of the political aisle find aspects of what happened troubling. However, one fact that has been virtually hidden is that although the arresting officer was white, the entire situation was supervised by a black, female sergeant.

It’s no coincidence that the “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirts being worn are black with white lettering as many, including MSNBC’s Al Sharpton, have tried to turn the issue into a racial one despite the fact that both Garner’s wife and daughter do not believe that race had anything to do with his death.   

In response to these shirts, and to bring attention to the fact that Garner would still be alive had he not been breaking the law, a police officer who is also an entrepreneur has designed his own shirt.

Jason Barthel owns an apparel company called South Bend Uniforms and is also a police officer in Mishawaka, Indiana.

In an interview with the Daily Herald , Barthel said, ““The problem is we have a lot of people who are trying to create problems between the citizens and the people who try to protect them.” He continued, “My goal is to create a new brand, and that brand is going to continue to evolve into a sense of bringing people together.”

While Barthel has no animosity or bitterness towards those wearing the “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirts, the problem, he says, is that those shirts only show one side of the story. He believes the police perspective must also be taken into account.

“We are not here to do anything negative to the public. We’re here to protect the public and we want you to breathe easy knowing that the police are here to be with you and for you and protect you.”

Barthel says his phone has been ringing off the hook as news of his t-shirt has spread.

Of course there are now those who want to stop these shirts being sold…they only want one side of the argument presented and so seek to impinge other people’s freedom of speech by trying to ban the sale of the shirts.

 

– TPNN


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.

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