On June 21, 2017 activist Erica Garner, her mother Esaw Snipes, grandmother Gwen Carr and Rev. Al Sharpton met with representatives of the U.S. Department of Justice where officials use bureaucratic terminology to tell the family that the investigation into the death of Eric Garner is moving along "expeditiously" and they're close to reaching a "decision point." During the meeting, Garner was secretly recording the discussion. According to Rolling Stone before she died, Erica Garner was planning to release the video.
Raw footage from the meeting was posted on Erica Garner's official Twitter account on Tuesday. A close friend has been running the Twitter account since Garner was hospitalized in late 2017 and has continued to update the account after her untimely death on Dec. 30.
The DOJ representatives are unidentified, but the video starts with the DOJ giving a vague response to direct questions regarding when federal investigators would release information. “I think that we’ll be at a decisional point within the next several months,” an official tells the family. “We’re not talking about no decisions being made on this case in 2018. That is not where we’re at.”
In the video, the DOJ also responds to Sharpton's mention of the case against North Charleston Police officer Michael Slager who shot and killed Walter Scott in 2015 and eventually was indicted and pleaded guilty to a federal civil rights offense.
“You reference Slager’s case and why did that one move faster than this particular case,” one unidentified DOJ representative says to Sharpton. “Each case is dealt with on its own individual merits.” He added that the “most important thing” is that the investigation is even active.
In one of her last essays, Garner wrote about the meeting and how by the end of it she felt nothing but frustration with the slow pace of the investigation. "It’s been three years since the non-indictment of my dad's killer and Daniel Pantaleo, Justin D’Amico and other members of the NYPD police 120th precinct in Staten Island have yet to be punished in the role they played in my father’s death and my family has yet to see justice," she wrote.
She continued, "My family has sat through two black federal prosecutors, Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch, and still has yet to see justice in my dad's case. The only answers we have received is that the investigation is still open."
Erica Garner became a prominent voice in the #BlackLivesMatter movement in 2014 when NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo placed her father Eric Garner in an illegal chokehold resulting in his death; Pantaleo is still employed by the NYPD. Erica fought relentlessly for justice for her father, all the way up to her untimely death at the age of 27 in late December 2017.