From Erica Garner‘s point of view, things got so messy at the taping of an ABC News town hall event with President Obama that she walked out in protest. She says the network broke its promise to highlight her questions.
The daughter of Eric Garner, the man who was put in a chokehold and killed by NYPD police officers on camera is now denouncing the session on race, saying she was “lied to” and was “railroaded” by ABC producers who ignored her questions for the president.
WARNING: Explicit language
“ABC is using black lives as a rating and to get paid,” Garner told HuffPost in an exclusive video statement. “They guaranteed me that I would be asking the president direct questions about what’s going on. I was lied to.”
The Huffington Post says ABC didn’t immediately issue a statement on the controversy. Meanwhile, Reggie Harris, Garner’s political adviser, said producers told him the head of Disney, ABC’s parent company, considered Garner “a major political figure” and specifically asked for her to attend the session.
Ultimately, Garner met with Obama briefly backstage. “I am sorry for your loss,” the president said as he shook Garner’s hand.
Garner, whose father died in July 2014 after a confrontation that police said began with him selling untaxed cigarettes, said she felt disrespected by ABC producers, who didn’t give her the opportunity to ask about the federal investigation into her father’s death and improved policing policies.
“I had to stage a walkout by myself,” Garner said. “And I went out there I had to yell, scream, and eventually I was able to speak to the president. It’s a shame as black people that we have to yell and become belligerent to have our voices heard.”
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