Eric Garner's daughter hails Bernie Sanders as fearless protester in new ad

By Amy R. Connolly  |  Feb. 12, 2016 at 11:12 AM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders released a dramatic ad featuring Erica Garner, the daughter of police chokehold victim Eric Garner, saying the Vermont senator is a proven civil-rights activist who is "not scared to go up against the criminal justice system."

Garner, wearing a black sweatshirt with the her father's last words, "I can't breathe," opens the four-minute online ad talking about her 6-year-old daughter learning about civil rights in school. She gives a moving account of her father's death and how she's been coping. She explained her support for Sanders is because he is not afraid to show his support to the black community.

"I'm behind anyone who is going to listen and speak up for us," she said. "I think we need to believe in a leader like Bernie Sanders."

The video is set to a background of somber music and pictures of Eric Garner, and is interspersed with soundbites from Sanders' campaign rallies. Erica Garner said her father was murdered, moving her to become an activist like Sanders.

A grand jury in December 2014 declined to indict the police officer involved in Garner's death, sparking a wave of protests throughout the country.

"There's no other person that's speaking about this. People are dying. This is real. This is not TV," she said. "We need a president that going to talk about it."

"He's not scared to go up against the criminal justice system. He's not scared," she said.

Garner first expressed her support for Sanders last month in a Washington Post editoral

Eric Garner, 43, died July 17, 2014, while being arrested for selling loose cigarettes on Staten Island. Officers took him down with a chokehold and he died a short time later. A federal grand jury is hearing evidence in the case.

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