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The Bernie Sanders campaign released a stirring four-minute video featuring the daughter of Eric Garner, who died after police placed him in a chokehold in 2014.
Erica Garner offers an impassioned plea for Americans to support Sanders’ run for the White House in the video uploaded to YouTube on Thursday. She argues that the Vermont senator is the best option for people concerned about racial injustice in the United States.
“No one gets to see their parent’s last moments, and I was able to see my dad die on national TV. They don’t know what they took from us,” Garner says in the video. “He wasn’t just someone that no one cared for him or no one loved him. He was loved dearly.”
Her father became a symbol of the Black Lives Matter movement after a video of his arrest and death at 43 in the New York City borough of Staten Island sparked outrage around the country.
“He was being the loving, caring man that he was. And he was murdered,” she said.
Eric Garner’s daughter Erica Garner speaks at a news conference last July in New York, with, from left, his mother, Gwen Carr, daughter Emerald Snipes and wife, Esaw Snipes. (Photo: Mary Altaffer/AP)
Garner, who first endorsed Sanders last month, said that she has protested in the name of her father’s death every Tuesday and Thursday for the past year — drawing inspiration from late civil rights leaders Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.
She said that she would support anyone who is willing to listen to and speak up for the African-American community.
“I think we need to believe in a leader like Bernie Sanders,” she said. “There’s no other person that’s speaking about this. People are dying. This is real. This is not TV. We need a president that will talk about it. I believe Bernie Sanders is a protester. He’s not scared to go up against the criminal justice system. He’s not scared.”
On her official website, Garner said that Sanders’ campaign was grateful for her support and asked how she would like to plug herself into it.
The Rev. Al Sharpton talks with Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., at Sylvia’s Restaurant on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016, in the Harlem neighborhood of New York. (Photo: Richard Drew/AP)
“The Sanders team allowed me and my team full creative control of this video, so this message is 100 percent my message and my views!” she wrote. “They had a totally different idea of what should be done, but true to form with Senator Sanders, he listened to me, didn’t tell me he knew better and I was not practical, and this is what we produced.”
Garner had come out in favor of Sanders with an editorial in the Washington Post on Jan. 29. She explained that she once trusted “establishment Democrats” who claimed to represent her, but then saw them rationalizing her father’s death.
On Wednesday, Sanders met with civil rights activist Al Sharpton at Sylvia’s, a famous soul food restaurant in Harlem, New York. It’s the same restaurant where then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama met with Sharpton during his 2008 presidential campaign.