- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Former president Bill Clinton said Eric Garner — the black man who died about an hour after being put in a chokehold by a New York police officer — may have been breaking the law by selling untaxed cigarettes, but he was “overweight and vulnerable” and certainly didn’t deserve death.

“[Garner] was obviously not well, he was overweight and vulnerable and therefore had lung problems, hearth and lung problems,” Mr. Clinton said in an interview with Fusion that was taped at the Clinton Foundation “Future of the Americas” event earlier this month. The full interview is due to air Tuesday, Politico reported.

He went on, Politico reported, citing excerpts of the interview: “He was doing something he should not have been doing. That was illegal. He was selling untaxed cigarettes on the street in small volumes, trying to make a little extra money. But he didn’t deserve to die because of that.”

Mr. Clinton also recognized the “divide that exists between the community and the police” and said there are “preconceptions wired into us and we have go to get beyond them,” Politico reported.

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