In a four-minute long ad for Senator Bernie Sanders released this week entitled “It’s Not Over,” the daughter of the late Eric Garner went to bat for the Democratic presidential candidate, telling voters that he is “not scared to go against the criminal justice system.” Erica Garner, shown campaigning and protesting on the streets of New York in the video, said she’s voting for Sanders because, “People are dying. This is real.”
In July 2014, her 43-year-old father died at the hands of police officers in Staten Island after he was put in a chokehold by Officer Daniel Pantaleo for selling loose cigarettes, and was ignored 11 times as he said, “I can’t breathe.” The phrase quickly became associated with the Black Lives Matter movement, used by activists in protest of police force when interacting with unarmed African-American people. “No one gets to see their parent’s last moments. I was able to see my dad die on national TV,” the younger Garner said in the campaign ad.
In a statement, Erica Garner said the candidate’s team allowed her creative control of the video and that their experience working together was proof that Sanders wasn’t pandering for her vote because of her race, or her family’s experience with police violence. “He didn’t put out a press conference announcing that we would be working together. He didn’t force me to frame my support of him around a subject matter that special interest groups that support him can get behind,” she wrote. “They had a totally different idea of what should be done, but true to form with Senator Sanders, he listened to me.”
Watch the campaign ad on YouTube.