Erica Garner Blocked From Speaking With President Obama At Town Hall On Race Relations
Erica Garner, the eldest daughter of the late Eric Garner, the man who was murdered by NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo in Staten Island, was blocked from speaking at an ABC Town hall on race relations, according to Garner in a series of tweets she made today. The town hall comes on the heels of a spade of police violence that has brought the issues of racism, white supremacy, and police terror back into the national and international spotlight following the executions of 37 year-old Alton Sterling in Baton Rogue, Louisiana and 32-year-old Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. Since the death of her father, Erica Garner has been advocating for police reform and endorsed democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. President Barack Obama was in attendance at the town hall, fielding questions. It was titled, "The President and the People: A National Conversation." It aired at 8 p.m. ET on a range of networks and online platforms including ABC, ESPN, YouTube, Yahoo, and others.
Garner shouted, "I was railroaded! I was railroaded by ABC on the two-year anniversary of my father’s death!”
In addition to not being able to speak on the program, Garner was upset at how the conversation was framed, calling it a "farce" and "nothing short of full exploitation of Black pain and grief." Erica Garner was eventually able to meet with the President after the town hall, behind closed doors. Speaking to Buzzfeed News, Garner explained her frustration:
“I’m tired. I’m tired and I’m exhausted. I’ve exhausted every avenue trying to pursue justice for my dad. I’ve spoken to a rep from the DOJ. I’ve spoken on panels — whoever you can think of I’ve spoken with them. I’m tired of having this conversation. I’m tired. And I think the only way do this is to shut shit down,” she said. “That’s not what I wanted to do or intend to do, but it’s a shame that I have to be loud and act ‘ghetto’ to get my point across. But I will be used and I will not be silent.”
Watch the 15 year-old son of Alton Sterling, Cameron Sterling speak with the President at the town hall and read Erica Garner tweet about the incident below.
\u201cYo this town hall that presidential town hall #abc arranged is a farce. It was nothing short of full exploitation of Black pain and grief\u201d— officialERICA GARNER (@officialERICA GARNER) 1468532069
\u201cThey lied to me and my family to get us to travel to DC to participate. Taking time away from things I had planned to remember my father.\u201d— officialERICA GARNER (@officialERICA GARNER) 1468532111
\u201cI should have known something was wrong when they had little Cameron Sterling standing with the Lt. Gov of Texas while he denounced BLM\u201d— officialERICA GARNER (@officialERICA GARNER) 1468532430
\u201cI need all of you to know that this #ABC town hall that will air at 8pm is a sham. They shut out ALL real and hard questions\u201d— officialERICA GARNER (@officialERICA GARNER) 1468532570
\u201cI went there trying to represent THE PEOPLE... #ABC wanted ratings even if it meant they had to profit from Black misery and oppression.\u201d— officialERICA GARNER (@officialERICA GARNER) 1468538168
\u201cI was not upset about not speaking with #POTUS . i was upset because #ABC lied and used me, my pain, and suffering for ratings.\u201d— officialERICA GARNER (@officialERICA GARNER) 1468541891
H/T: New York Post