WASHINGTON ― Erica Garner, the daughter of Eric Garner, a black man who was killed by a NYPD officer in 2014, is slamming Hillary Clinton’s campaign over leaked emails from the server of John Podesta, the campaign’s chairman.
“I know we have Erica Garner issues but we don’t want to mention Eric at all? I can see her coming after us for leaving him out of the piece,” wrote Nick Merrill, a spokesman for the campaign, in the email leaked from Podesta’s private server and posted on WikiLeaks.
The email correspondence was a discussion about whether the death of Garner’s father should be used in a Clinton opinion piece for New York Daily News on gun violence.
“It was obvious that the two white men that were on the email chain didn’t even know that my dad wasn’t shot,” Garner told The Huffington Post via Twitter direct message. “It was clear that he was just a dead body for them to manipulate for their use. White liberals have been trying to cram racism into the box of gun violence for a while now.”
Garner expressed her frustration with the content of the emails on Thursday in a series of tweets:
Several Clinton staffers ― including national spokeswoman Karen Finney, senior policy advisor Maya Harris and speechwriter Benjamin Krauss ― advised against using Eric Garner in the op-ed (which was never published) since his death was a result of police brutality and not gun violence.
He was killed when New York police officer Daniel Pantaleo put him in an illegal chokehold. A grand jury later decided against indicting Pantaleo for Eric Garner’s death.
“Fighting gun violence is easier and more palatable than fighting racist police violence,” Garner said. “It’s the same as saying ‘All Lives Matter’ to me. ... If we eliminate guns we know they’ll choke black people, drag black people behind trucks. They’re still hanging Black people now, they’ll still be putting Sandra Bland’s (sic) in jail for being black. Tamir Rice will still be a grown, threatening man in their eyes and black people will still be super predators.”
“We cannot allow these folks to be confused or to forget that racist police violence is real,” she added.
Grouping black people who have been killed by the police with those who have died from gun violence is mentioned at least one other time in the Clinton email leak.
The Justice Department replaced the federal officials investigating Garner’s case since they were reportedly against bringing charges against Pantaleo. The shakeup has renewed hope that Pantaleo will face charges in Eric Garner’s death.
Eric Garner appeared in the emails a few other times. In one instance, Podesta seems to suggest that his death was justified.
“Podesta [is] a very senior staffer and so were those white men that were just spouting off the names of real dead people,” Garner said in response to Podesta’s suggestion. “If they think my dad deserved to die, policy that they settle on will reflect.”
The Clinton campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.