Eric Garner’s daughter says situation surrounding George Floyd’s death is all too familiar

As people across the nation continue to protest over the death of George Floyd, the manner of his death is hitting close to home for a local woman.

News 12 Staff

Jun 4, 2020, 2:42 AM

Updated 1,413 days ago

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As people across the nation continue to protest over the death of George Floyd, the manner of his death is hitting close to home for a local woman.
Floyd died after an encounter with Minneapolis police officers. Officer Derek Chauvin was seen on video kneeling on Floyd’s neck for several minutes while making the arrest. Floyd could be heard saying “I can’t breathe” before he appeared to pass out.
The situation was all too familiar to Emerald Garner, youngest daughter of Eric Garner who died after an NYPD officer put him in an illegal chokehold in 2014.
“I just feel for the family. I feel especially for the children that they have to relive this for the rest of their lives. Seeing how their father and loved one was killed on national TV. That is something you will never get over,” Emerald says. “Something that ever goes away. Something that takes a piece of you every single time you see it, hear it or watch.”
Eric Garner’s death was also recorded for the world to see. Emerald says that it took her years before she could watch the moments that led to her father’s death.
Full Interview: News 12's Eric Landskroner speaks to Emerald Garner about anti-police brutality movement
“The same exact situation of you restricting the breathing or having any care or empathy for a human life. That is why the outrage is happening. That is why people are hitting the streets and that is why people are protesting,” she says.
Mass protests have taken place nearly every day since George Floyd died – protests against police brutality. Most of these demonstrations have been peaceful, but some have spiraled into violence, vandalism and looting.
“I know that it is wrong, but show them some change and I guarantee you that it will stop,” Emerald says. “I guarantee it. They are hurting right now.”
Emerald says that she does not agree with the looting, property destruction or rioting, but she says that she does agree with standing up for your rights.
“I know that they’re feeling pain. We know why they’re feeling pain. We know why they’re feeling anger,” she says. “I know that anger all too well. I’ve watched my father repeatedly on TV being killed.”
Photos: Protests around the world over the death of George Floyd
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She says that the anger will only subside once there is justice and the brutality stops.
“They have to go to jail, that’s the bottom line. Until these officers are going to jail for the crimes they commit against African Americans, black and brown people, there’s not going to be a change. We need action. And we need action now,” she says.
Daniel Pantaleo, the officer who put Eric Garner in the chokehold was never criminally charged. It took five years for him to be fired. In Minneapolis, Chauvin was fired the next day and is now facing murder charges. Three other officers are also facing some charges related to the death.
Emerald says that she sees that progress. And she says that she is encouraged by images of police nationwide kneeling, marching with protesters, even praying with them.
“It showed me that they're stepping up to the plate and they're showing what leadership is,” she says.
Emerald says that America may finally have reached the turning point, she was hoping for after her father died. She says that she is also hoping for a federal ban on chokeholds.
New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand introduced the Eric Garner Excessive Use of Force Prevention Act in the Senate this week.


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