Speed Reads

Eric Garner

Rand Paul: Taxes and politicians killed Eric Garner

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Wednesday faulted not police misconduct or racism for the death of Eric Garner, but rather the effects of big government.

"Obviously the individual circumstances are important," Paul said on MSNBC. "But I think it's also important to know that some politician put a tax of $5.85 on a pack of cigarettes, so that's driven cigarettes underground by making them so expensive."

A New York Police officer killed Garner with a chokehold while trying to arrest him for selling loose cigarettes on a Staten Island street.

"For someone to die over breaking that law, there really is no excuse for it," Paul said. "But I do blame the politicians. We put our police in a difficult situation with bad laws." --Jon Terbush