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Eric Garner died in the summer of 2014 when police tried to arrest him in Staten Island, New York. A video of the arrest, in which he could be heard repeatedly saying "I can't breathe," ignited a firestorm of criticism of the NYPD's actions.
“This is what mommy is, she is an activist,” Erica Garner -- who endorsed Sanders -- says in the ad as she walks through her home and neighborhood with her daughter. “I was able to see my dad die on national TV...They don’t know who they took from us...he was loved daily."
Garner says in the ad that her goal is to tell her father's story: that he was “murdered.”
“I never want the world to forget what happened to my dad,” Erica Garner adds in the video.
The campaign says it is working on developing a shorter version of the ad for cable TV, but that they have yet to buy television ad time for the ad.
“I am behind anyone who is going to listen and speak to for us,” she says, adding that Sanders is not afraid to stand up to the criminal justice system.
“I think we need to believe in a leader like Bernie Sanders," she says. "There is no other person that is speaking about this.”
Sanders' primary challenger, Hillary Clinton, has spoken extensively about issues of criminal justice reform too, but the battle for the African American vote is in full force now as campaigns switch attention to South Carolina and other more racially diverse primary voting states.
The Sanders campaign and some its backers were clearly rattled by the Congressional Black Caucuses PAC decision today to back Clinton. Sanders today picked up one high profile endorsement from the civil rights community —- Harry Belafonte.
Sanders is pictured briefly in the 4-minute ad, speaking at one of his rallies: "It is not acceptable to me that we have seen young black men walk down streets in this country be beaten and be killed in this country,” he says.
A state grand jury declined to indict the officer who put Garner in an apparent chokehold, but a federal grand jury is reportedly hearing evidence in the case.