*Erica Garner, the late daughter of slain police victim Eric Garner, had been planning to release a video that she secretly recorded during her meeting with Department of Justice officials in New York on June 21 of last year.
Per what is believed to have been her wishes, the video has just been released on Erica’s Twitter feed, just weeks after she died unexpectedly of heart failure at the age of 27. According to Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi, she was furious at the slow pace of the investigation into civil rights charges against the NYPD and felt that Justice officials had made empty promises.
As reported by the New York Times in October 2016, the Garner case had been reassigned – prior to the election of Donald Trump – in an unusual shakeup within the Justice Department. The paper claimed that the FBI officials in New York “opposed bringing charges,” so a new, Washington-based team took over the case.
Erica attended the meeting with her grandmother, Gwen Carr, as well as her mother, Esaw Snipes, and Reverend Al Sharpton. Erica was determined to see if someone would be federally prosecuted on civil rights charges for her father’s chokehold death at the hands of police on July 17, 2014.
Watch Erica’s secret video below:
Read more details about Erica’s secret video via Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi below:
In the video, that new team of Justice Department officials leads off the meeting by inferring to Erica and her family that they can expect a decision on civil rights charges soon.
“I think that we’ll be at a decisional point within the next several months,” an official tells the family, adding: “We’re not talking about, no decisions being made on this case in 2018. That is not where we’re at.”
This statement was very much on Erica Garner’s mind shortly before her death, as the New Year approached. She discussed it frequently with friends and family.
On the tape, both Erica and her grandmother Gwen Carr can be heard asking for specifics about what had been learned in the investigation. They are not told anything, but are told that the new team had done most of the work.
“The vast majority of the federal investigation,” they are told, “has taken place since this team was put into place.”
In other words, this new team had done more work than the previous, New York-based team.
This upset Erica, who was tired, she said, of continually being asked to be pleased about things that were not concrete results, and/or promised action that was not forthcoming. As the New Year approached, she talked more and more about finding ways to pressure the Justice Department to act.