In an exclusive interview with Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric, two of Eric Garner’s children spoke out about the controversial decision by a grand jury in Staten Island, N.Y., not to indict a white police officer in their father’s death.
“I was disappointed,” Erica Garner said of the decision. “You’ve seen him die on national TV just like everybody else. Why?”
Videotape captured Garner’s death as he was wrestled to the ground in an apparent chokehold this summer.
Couric was also joined by a panel that included former New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and black political comedian W. Kamau Bell.
“I have to be totally honest with you, Katie. I didn’t know Ray Kelly would be here [on set]. I don’t feel safe now,” Bell said in reference to his fear of police.
Kelly responded to Bell’s assertion that police unfairly target African Americans by saying: “The unfortunate reality is there is a fair amount of crime in communities of color that police respond to. Some of those interactions are negative.”
Couric further dissected the issue with two bloggers, Franchesca Ramsey and Latoya Peterson, as well as journalist Dion Rabouin.
The discussion turned to a recent story Couric reported on Lennon Lacy, a Bladenboro, N.C., teenager who was found dead in August hanging from a swing set. His death was ruled a suicide, but some critics believe the police arrived at that conclusion too hastily and did not give the case as thorough an investigation as it would have received had Lacy been white. Couric’s full story on Lennon Lacy can be viewed here.
The spirited conversation made clear that much remains to be done to mend the relationship between law enforcement and the African American community.
Watch the full interview here: