One of the newer leaks revealed by media group WikiLeaks in the ongoing disclosure of emails from the campaign of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is that her campaign cynically debated how to use the death of African-American Eric Garner to further its political goals.
Eric Garner, as some readers may remember, was the man arrested in Staten Island, New York in the summer of 2014 for selling loose cigarettes on the street. During his arrest, he was choked by police and subsequently died at nearby Richmond University.
A grand jury exonerated policeman Daniel Pantaleo, the officer who took Garner down using a controversial maneuver. In the wake of the grand jury’s decision not to indict Pantaleo, protest movements sprung up across the nation, many under the banner of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) social justice movement.
BLM has recently been funded to the tune of $33 million by Democrat-aligned financier George Soros, with an additional $100 million pledged to it over the next six years by The Ford Foundation in conjunction with Borealis Philanthropy.
Garner’s death was one of a wave of incidents of police violence that sparked a series of BLM demonstrations in the U.S. and elsewhere and prompted various politicians to make statements to the media, many of which condemned police forces and their actions.
The protests have since spread to other venues, with sports stars such as San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refusing to stand for the U.S. national anthem when it’s played prior to sporting events in honor of the victims of such violence and to call attention to police tactics.
The daughter of Eric Garner, Erica Garner, has held vigils and protests herself on Staten Island and participated in a Justice for All March on Washington, D.C. in December 2014.
The campaign of Hillary Clinton has been quick to tap into the emotions surrounding these incidents and the BLM movement as a whole as a way to shore up its support among black voters. In the first presidential debate with GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, Clinton said, “When it comes to policing, since it can have literally fatal consequences, I have said, in my first budget, we would put money into that budget to help us deal with implicit bias by retraining a lot of our police officers.”
Whether that retraining would include adopting doctrines written by the United Nations, as has been hinted at by Alt-Right websites such as Prison Planet and Zero Hedge, is unknown.
In March of this year, Clinton wrote an editorial for The New York Daily News newspaper railing against police violence toward African-Americans, managing to skewer her primary political rival Bernie Sanders and GOP candidates Trump and Ted Cruz in the process.
The editorial doesn’t mention Garner, but it does mention well-known cases of gun violence, such as the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Hadiya Pendleton, Tyshawn Lee and the children of the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
In the 19th online release of Clinton campaign manager John Podesta’s emails, WikiLeaks revealed that campaign staffer Corey Ciorciari wrote to Clinton aide Maya Harris, saying, “I know we have Erica Garner issues, but we don’t want to mention Eric at all? I can see her coming after us for leaving him out of the [New York-focused] piece.”
Clearly, Ciorciari’s question indicated that the Clinton campaign had concerns about a potential response from Erica Garner for not mentioning Garner’s name in speeches or statements.
It was obvious from the emails that Clinton’s campaign had worked on the editorial piece for some time, deliberating about whose names to mention and what to include. In another email, Clinton aide Maya Harris wrote back, “Eric Garner not included because not killed by gun violence. Can we delete or say something other than ‘makeshift’?”
After the email was leaked, Erica Garner’s critical reaction was swift.
In a tweet on October 27, Garner stated toward the Clinton campaign, “I’m troubled by the revelation that you and this campaign actually discussed ‘using’ Eric Garner … Why would you want to ‘use’ my dad?” In another tweet, Garner linked to the WikiLeaks release and accused Corey Ciorciari and Clinton campaign spokesman Nick Merrill of “plot[ting] to use police violence victims to push gun control.”
Previously, Garner had been a Clinton detractor, supporting her rival Bernie Sanders in the primary season and criticizing the candidate on Twitter. Again attacking Clinton’s campaign, Garner tweeted, “These people will co-opt anything to push their agenda. Police violence is not the same as gun violence.”
When asked about the issue, the Clinton campaign predictably had no comment.