Police Commissioner Bill Bratton sent New Yorkers an important message back in August in the wake of Eric Garner’s death, allegedly by police chokehold: There is no constitutional right to resist arrest.

“What we’ve seen in the past few months is a number of individuals failing to understand that you must submit to arrest, you cannot resist,” Bratton said in an interview on Brian Lehrer’s radio show. “The place to argue your case is in the court, not in the street.”

It’s a critical point, and one Bratton’s made before. We just wish he wasn’t the only public official sending that message, the New York Post reports.

The simple fact, painful as it may be for some to acknowledge, is that Eric Garner would be alive today if he’d cooperated when cops tried to arrest him for illegally selling loose, untaxed cigarettes.

Instead, he argued with police, refused to put his hands behind his back, accused them of harassing him and vowed, “It ends today.”