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NYPD Treated Bigtime White Cigarette Smuggler Way Better Than They Treated Eric Garner

ABS_Michael ZekryTwo Staten Island men, one Black, the other white, were confronted by New York City police officers for selling illegal cigarettes. One of them is alive and the other was killed during the arrest.

Eric Garner, a 42-year-old Black man selling illegal cigarettes for a little extra cash, was put into a chokehold and killed during a police stop. A cellphone video recording of the incident shows multiple NYPD officers on top of Garner as he uttered his final words, “I can’t breathe.”

Michael Zekry, a 67-year-old white man, was caught with more than 2,000 cartons of illegal cigarettes when he was pulled over by police, according to the Staten Island Advance. Zekry’s haul would’ve cheated the state and city tax authorities out of more than $150,000.

Zekry’s operation was revealed in a careful seven-month long investigation by the NYPD and the state Department of Taxation and Finance, District Attorney Daniel Donovan announced on Friday. There was no report of a physical confrontation in Zekry’s arrest.

Donovan added that authorities also found an extra 551 cartons in his apartment, $40,000 and an electric money counter in his Field Street home.

“You got a good one!” Zekry told police, according to court documents. “I’m out of business now.”

Compared to Garner’s minor side hustle, Zekry would would travel to Virginia every 10 weeks to purchase cigarettes, then sell them unstamped in New York City, where each pack is taxed at $5.85 each, the Advance reported. Zekry told police that he’d make $5,000 to $7,000 by selling cartons between $40 and $50 a piece, which makes the 2,586 cartons the police found in his white Ford Econoline van worth between $100,000 and $130,000.

Zekry is charged with one count of tax fraud and three counts of evading cigarette/tobacco products tax. He will be a class D felon and face up to four years in prison if convicted, the Advance reports. Meanwhile, demonstrations around the country continue to protest police brutality and racial profiling in the memory of Garner, and other unarmed Black men who were killed by police.

What people are saying

41 thoughts on “NYPD Treated Bigtime White Cigarette Smuggler Way Better Than They Treated Eric Garner

  1. Theodora Anagor says:

    Some people not programmed to see the disparity in this, will not comprehend it, so move along, there is nothing to see.

  2. Greg Ransome says:

    Doesn't matter whether they're programmed or not. EVERYONE has the same human rights in the modern world. America is proving itself to be uncivilised in the eyes of the world and needs to bring all aspects of itself into the 21st Century or it cannot preach to others from its high horse.
    Civillization is much more than having running water & cellphones. No human rights for some = Uncivillised. Perhaps not as bad as ISIS, but heading in that direction.

  3. It has NEVER been proven that he was selling cigarettes. He had just broken up a fight and was standing next to the store enjoying the warm weather and minding his own business. The police made the assumption that he was selling cigarettes, but they didn't see him selling cigarettes when they accosted him and choked him to death.

  4. The blatant "Hypocrisy" is clear! Treat this guy with kid gloves and choke our brother to death. There is no hope in America.

  5. I find it extremely odd that 6 cops (including detectives) would approach about selling cigarettes. Did the cops just happen to be policing the area as a group and spotted him selling cigarettes? I doubt that very seriously. It more likely that they had all agreed to go to where he was and harass him. Why? Maybe it has to do with the complaint he had recently filed against the officer who ultimately killed him, and not him selling cigarettes.

    Six cops wouldn't convene to meet one guy selling single cigarettes. That doesn't make sense. The other theory, suggested by Garner's family, makes more sense. And it would mean that there was a conspiracy to harass and harm him. And that's a crime.

  6. Zyaire Shakur says:

    Not surprised at all and this is very convenient that they find a situation parrallell to brotha Eric Garners situation… Black people stay focused they pushing for a black white civil war to justify mass slaughter and incarceration of black people while these murders are very racist at some point you have Ro ask yourself why?why are these murders a constant in the media?this didn't just start its been happening and there's some white people murdered by cops as well not being reported we gotta be careful

  7. The various people that can not see the disparities, suffer from the same issues as alcoholics and drug addicts. They are in denial that they have a problem. Recovery and treatment can not begin until he or she recognize they have a problem and want help. Their blindness to hate, bigotry and discrimination can only be cured when they recognize their sickness.

  8. Especially since cigarette tax crime falls under the jurisdiction of the Sheriff, not NYPD…. why did they approach him at all?

  9. Guercy Elan says:

    This white guy with hundrends of illegal cigarettes gets a stern look…

    > Guy outraged over harassment is killed by police / Guys who actually was selling illegal cigarettes gets a hug from the police

  10. Mary Brown says:

    Difference: One resisted arrest, the other did not. Moral of the story, treat cops nice and you won't get stomped or shot.

  11. Mary Brown says:

    He had a long rap sheet, he was on probation, cops had a right to detain and question him. He resisted detention and his weight and poor health caused his death. Plus what none of the news services are saying is that a black police sergeant was on the scene controlling things.

  12. Mary Brown says:

    Greg Ransome Every recent case being protested was caused by the person resisting arrest, or in one case punching a police officer in the face. NOBODY has a right to resist arrest. Do what the cops say and sort it out in court.

  13. Mary Brown says:

    white dude didn't resist arrest and was nice to the cops. You have zero rights to resist and doing so is hazardous to your health

  14. Mary Brown says:

    White 18 year old killed by a black officer in UT, in this case he WAS shot in the back. Don't see whites rioting, it is in the courts and will be sorted out there.

  15. Joe Brilly says:

    Putting your hands up in a sigh of surrender is not 'resisting arrest'. And 'resisting arrest' does not mean the cops can KILL you. Now if this was you getting saucy with a cop for a ticket does that give them the right to shoot you? Of course not. And it is no difference here. There was nothing happening that warranted him dying over such a trivial offense. If all Mr Pantaleo wanted to do was arrest Garner, why didn't he just run behind his back and put cuffs on him? Putting a chokehold on somebody is not equal to arresting them. Those are two totally separate actions. And that is the crux of the issue. If he really just wanted to arrest him, he had more than enough cops there where he could have done it without resorting to a chokehold as FIRST resort.

  16. Peter Yost says:

    Sounds like the white guy didn't resist arrest. Maybe he was a bit smarter than Garner and that's why he is still alive. After being arrested over 30 times you'd think Garner might have learned how to deal with cops. Then again, someone dumb enough to get arrested 30 times is probably too stupid to breathe on his own.

  17. One CHOSE to resist arrest, one didn't.

  18. Theodora Anagor says:

    Mary Brown Do what the officer and sort it out in court, you are the kind of person I am talking about, the police rely on people like you to ride rough shot over people, because you are blind to what is going on, they resisted arrest because the police said so, in the case of Eric Gardner it was a shake down, they have stolen money from him before, trying to breathe is not resisting arrest, police have been caught on camera stealing money from black people. The Justus system does not work for us because there are blind people and prejudiced people serving on juries not to mention corrupt prosecutors and even more corrupt and psychopathic cops.
    Like this this one

    This guy didn't even do anything, this type of thing happens all the time, Before you mention Mike Brown, I have no reason to doubt the witnesses who were there, and the forensics that confirmed what they were saying, than a police officer with a bad history of behaving badly and was kicked of one police force, and wound up in one of the most corrupt ones. And a biased prosecutor who knowingly put forward witnesses for Darren Wilson he knew to be lying.

  19. Joe Brilly says:

    Resisting arrest is a vague and ambiguous term. Raising your arms in the air as a sign of surrender and saying "no" is not the same as punching, kicking or running from the cops. You don't kill somebody for just raising their arms in the air in a sign of surrender and claim that is 'resisting arrest' that is stretching reality. And that IS why the NYPD is paying out a lot of money in court. Not to mention the number of cops being arrested for being crooks themselves including the top cops. But seems to me the only time you feel someone is resisting tyranny is when it affects the things YOU care about. Black folks have been fighting tyranny in this country for 400 years and it is because of folks like you who tolerated that tyranny that it lasted for 400 years because according to you, the system oppressing black folks is not tyranny.

  20. You're making accusations you don't even know, be an adult and quit this race hating . sheshhhhhh its Christmas the birth of our savior

  21. Thank you Zyaire , you are a reminder to all that we aer all human beings no matter what color our skin is, I call you brother!

  22. Greg Ransome says:

    Mary Brown Keep telling yourself that. The point is that they are unequally picking on men of colour (when the statistics show that they are actually less likely to have committed any offence). Then when they despatch with them, they cry "resisting arrest". Hands in the air is "resisting arrest"? Lying on the ground with 4 officers on top of you is "resisting arrest"? Trayvon Martin wasn't even being arrested as ZImmerman wasn't a cop and how can you cite self defence when he was shot in the back – he attacked Z with his back? So many excuses, but statistics don't lie.

    So why don't you tell me how blacks kill more of their own? And I will show you FBI stats that show that white males are killing each other in similar numbers, but you don't want to hear that. Neither do the media.

  23. Mike Geraci says:

    Did the white guy resist arrest? How is it you can say "I can't breathe" 11 times if you can't breathe? Bottom line is this. If Mr. Garner had not resisted arrest, he would have racked up his 32nd arrest and would still be committing petty crimes on the street

  24. Mike Geraci says:

    You are aware that the Garner arrest was supervised by an African Am female sergeant right?

  25. Marilyn Jo Harper says:

    What a crock. "There was no report of a physical confrontation in Zekry’s arrest." So the white criminal DID NOT resist arrest? Huh, wonder if that made any difference. Also lies that Garner was "choked to death" when in fact he died of a heart attack and was not in a chokehold. Do you really think the grand jury no-billed this death because Garner was black?

  26. Jerome Jackson says:

    Cigarette tax fraud is NOT under the jurisdiction of the NYPD, but the Sheriff. They had NO legal right to approach Mr. Garner and Im sure he knew that. And if you've never approached and/or arrested unjustly by Law Enforcement, YOU HAVE NO REFERENCE AS TO WHAT IT MEANS TO RESIST ARREST. And the truth of the matter is most white people, particularly women, particularly in NYC, will NEVER have that experience….for obvious reasons. So dont speculate about something you haven't experienced. It only confirms your bias.

  27. Jerome Jackson says:

    The alleged black police sergeant on the scene ia also a farce. Check the facts. There are no black police sergeants on Staten Island, male or female. And even if there was, no one authorized an ILLEGAL choke hold to be used which directly resulted in Mr Garner's death. The medical examiner ruled his death a homicide…which is a crime and SHOULD easily prosecuted, unless of course, you're a white police officer. Care to explain Mary Brown??

  28. Guercy Elan says:

    Mary Brown
    >> That choke hold had nothing to do with it, right?

  29. Greg Ransome says:

    Mary Brown – this is what a civilised country should do when someone resists arrest (& in this case punches 2 policemen trying to do their job). Tell me why didn't Eric Garner get tasered 3 times? You have one law for your type & another law for others yet YOU get mad when your double standards are rumbled. They are humans too & all are equal under the Law & in your Constitution:

  30. Michael Greer says:

    …or they'll kill you?

  31. John Jones says:

    One refused to move on and resisted arrest and the other didn't. Why do you suppose that was. One guy was smarter then then other. BTW the cop in charge on scene in NYC was a black woman who could have stopped it. Yes they used excessive force in this case but if the idiot had listened then he would be alive today.

  32. John Jones says:

    One refused to move on and resisted arrest and the other didn't. Why do you suppose that was. One guy was smarter then then other. BTW the cop in charge on scene in NYC was a black woman who could have stopped it. Yes they used excessive force in this case but if the idiot had listened then he would be alive today.

  33. John Jones says:

    Don't resist an officers request or order and live. Be smart live to fight another day and another way.

  34. John Jones says:

    Don't resist an officers request or order and live. Be smart live to fight another day and another way.

  35. John Jones says:


  36. John Jones says:

    BS again.

  37. Joe Brilly says:

    What was the officers order? Stop living?

    Show me what specific orders did the police give him?

    Like I said, if you want to arrest someone you don't put your arm around their necks. The only reason for anyone to put an arm around someones neck is to choke them. Daniel Panteleo never tried to arrest Mr Brown, he successfully choked him to death. And that was confirmed by the coroners report and by the video.

    Now, explain to me how that equals arresting someone.

    Your theory sounds nice but doesn't match up with the facts.

    THEORETICALLY he was resisting arrest in such a way that prevented the cops from arresting him. But in REALITY they never at any time actually tried to put handcuffs on him. The only thing they ACTUALLY did was choke him to death.

    Now since you feel this makes sense, then the next time the cop asks you anything and he doesn't like it, it is resisting arrest and he can simply choke you to death.

    No questions asked.

    You see this is why you had 400 years of racism and slavery in this country. The average joe in this country has always been perfectly fine with keeping things like they were. The PRIMARY people who stood up and demanded their rights were black folks. But as far as the rest of the country was concerned, there wasn't a thing wrong. If you did a survey in the 60s, most white folks would see 'race relations' as perfectly fine. George Wallace speaking white supremacy on TV was perfectly acceptable and normal.

  38. Randy Bonham says:

    it was a nearby store owner that called the cops to the scene. There was 2 black supervisors on scene. So, it shouldn't be a racist issue, but people just want to make it one. But, I am sure the white guy put up any resistance

  39. He didn't resist.

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