Public surveillance made the most important fact about Eric Garners death public.
Public surveillance made the most important fact about Eric Garner's death public. "Eric Garner facebook" by Source (WP:NFCC#4). Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia

In my recent post about Tracey Carver-Allbritton, the woman who was identified in a video of the fight that initiated the pool party mayhem in McKinney, Texas on June 5, I mentioned that surveillance is not just about concentration but also decentralization and diffusion. Not only are cameras being pointed at subjects but also those in authority. Everyone now has a camera. And a direct consequence of this kind of democratization can be found in a New York Times feature on the details of Eric Garner's death.

Apparently, "in the hours after Mr. Garner died, an initial five-page internal report prepared for senior police commanders, known as a 49, did not refer to contact with his neck." And had the video not surfaced on the web, "the world would not have known exactly how he died." Not only that, without the video the medical examiner would not have concluded that Garner's death was caused by a chokehold. Had the police had its way, blame for the death would have been placed on Garner—his health, his enormous size.

Later in the story, the head of the sergeants’ union, Edward D. Mullins, claims that mention of the neck would have been made in a more detailed report by the Internal Affairs Bureau. Are we really supposed to believe that? We are supposed to believe that the most significant thing about Garner's arrest, which isn't specified in a five-page police report, would suddenly make an appearance in a report prepared later by an internal investigation? What Mulllins is really saying is that the video was insignificant. The public would have learned about the chokehold from the Internal Affairs Bureau. This seems a stretch.

The question is: How will the police and other centers of authority respond to the troublesome democratization of surveillance? Clearly, cops prefer no video to video.

One last thing: Eric Garner is buried in an unmarked grave. Surely one of those rap stars who visited his grieving family could have donated some money for the brother's tombstone.