Eric Garner's daughter: De Blasio's answers sound 'practiced' and 'rehearsed'

Eric Garner's daughter: De Blasio's answers sound 'practiced' and 'rehearsed'
© Getty Images

The daughter of Eric Garner, who was killed by a New York police officer in 2014, on Thursday commended protesters at Wednesday’s Democratic presidential primary debate and expressed skepticism about New York Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by The Air Line Pilots Association - White House moves closer to Pelosi on virus relief bill New York again pushes back in-person classes The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by The Air Line Pilots Association - Trump contradicts CDC director on vaccine, masks MORE’s (D) answers on the incident.

Emerald Garner said on CNN she did not have advance knowledge of the demonstration, in which protesters shouted “Fire Pantaleo,” in reference to Daniel Pantaleo, the officer who placed her father in a headlock while attempting to arrest him for selling untaxed cigarettes. A medical examiner later ruled Garner's cause of death was an asthma attack caused by a chokehold.

“I do salute the people who stood up… because that’s what I’ve been screaming for the past five years,” Garner said.

ADVERTISEMENT

She also expressed disappointment in de Blasio announcing that the city could take no action against Pantaleo until a decision came from the Justice Department, which declared last month that it would not bring charges against Pantaleo.

“Everybody is saying ‘not me,’ the same thing Mayor de Blasio said to me in person at Gracie Mansion was the same thing that he said to [New York talk radio show] 'Ebro in the Morning,'” she said.

“It’s something that he practiced, it’s something that he rehearsed, and I feel like everything he’s saying is pretty much rehearsed,” she added.

A state grand jury declined to bring charges against Pantaleo in 2014, but the results of his disciplinary hearing within the police department are still pending. New York Police Commissioner James O’Neill has said he will base his decision on the results of the hearing.

De Blasio’s fellow Democratic presidential candidates also criticized his handling of the case in the Wednesday debate, with former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro saying Pantaleo “should be off the streets” and Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandSuburban moms are going to decide the 2020 election Jon Stewart urges Congress to help veterans exposed to burn pits The Hill's Campaign Report: 19 years since 9/11 | Dem rival to Marjorie Taylor Greene drops out | Collin Peterson faces fight of his career | Court delivers blow to ex-felon voting rights in Florida MORE (D-N.Y.) saying, “If I were the mayor, I would fire him.”