|Was Dinesh taken down like this?|
The waves of protest sweeping across America are about the videotaped death of Eric Garner of Staten Island in July. The amateur digital record of New York cop Daniel Pantaleo applying a lethal chokehold to take down an unarmed man is fuelling calls for a march on the scale of the historic marches that led to the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
The New York medical examiner had ruled that Garner's death was a homicide, concluding that compression of the neck and chest, combined with his positioning on the ground while being restrained by police, caused his death. He also noted that the 25-stone man had serious health problems and that his acute and chronic bronchial asthma, obesity and hypertensive cardiovascular disease were contributing factors.
Dinesh Raman Chinnaiah had no known health problems. He was a young man who died of positional asphyxia when overpowered by Chief Warden (CW) Daljit, Sgt Yen, Sgt Jonathan, Cpl Robby, Cpl Anand and/or CW Rozairudin in the secure facility of the Changi Prison Complex. Garner was heard pleading "I can't breathe" in the video footage that went viral, Dinesh could not even utter a single word. His eyes turned bloody red and mucus flowed copiously from his nose. The ubiquitous CCTV camera, a common sight in every corner of Singapore, was mysteriously absent.
After the initial official response claiming the inmate was restrained "according to protocol" cut no ice with the public, the senior prison officer charged with causing Dinesh's death through negligence was slapped with a mere $10,000 fine. There was no protest at Hong Lim Park.
That's the difference between Singapore and America.