“There’s no other person that is speaking about this,” Garner says in the ad. “People are dying. This is real. This is not TV. We need a president that’s going to talk about it.”
The four-minute video describes Garner’s role as a mother and activist, as well as the profound loss she felt after her father, Eric Garner, was killed by police after he was arrested and put in a chokehold for selling untaxed cigarettes in the summer of 2014 on Staten Island. Garner was black, while the officer who administered the fatal chokehold, Daniel Pantaleo, was white.
Garner’s last words, “I can’t breathe,” later became a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement.
“He wasn’t just someone that no one cared for him or no one loved him,” his daughter says in the ad. “He was loved dearly.”
Garner has carried a torch for her father since his death, holding rallies in his memory every Tuesday and Thursday for the past year.
According to MSNBC reporter Kasie Hunt, the Sanders campaign tried to buy a spot for the full four-minute ad on major networks including CNN, MSNBC, and BET but were turned down. An abbreviated two-minute version was expected to air on national cable instead, Hunt reported. It remains unclear how much the ad cost and which networks would air it.
Sanders campaign has a 2-minute Erica Garner vid they will air on national cable. They tried to buy 4 min on CNN, MSNBC, BET -- turned down
— Kasie Hunt (@kasie) February 11, 2016
The Garner video was released online the same day that Sanders was slated to face off against Hillary Clinton in a Democratic presidential debate on PBS.