Eric Garner and Michael Brown had much in common, not the least of which was this: On the last day of their lives, they made bad decisions. Epically bad decisions.

Each broke the law — petty offenses, to be sure, but sufficient to attract the attention of the police.

And then — tragically, stupidly, fatally, inexplicably — each fought the law.

The law won, of course, as it almost always does.

This was underscored yet again Wednesday when a Staten Island grand jury chose not to indict any of the arresting officers in the death in police custody of Garner last July.

Just as a grand jury last week declined to indict the police officer who shot a violently resisting Michael Brown to death in Ferguson, Mo., in August.

Demagoguery rises to an art form in such cases — because, again, the police generally win. (Though not always, as a moment’s reflection before the Police Memorial in lower Manhattan will underscore.) And because those who advocate for cop-fighters are so often such accomplished beguilers.

They cast these tragedies as, if not outright murder, then invincible evidence of an enduringly racist society.

No such thing, as a matter of fact. Virtually always, these cases represent sad, low-impact collisions of cops and criminals — routine in every respect except for an outlier conclusion.

To continue reading Bob McManus' column in the New York Post, click here.

Bob McManus is the former editorial page editor for the New York Post.