- The Washington Times - Friday, July 15, 2016

The daughter of Eric Garner, the black man who died two years ago after New York City police placed him in a chokehold, was reportedly seen shouting after ABC News denied her a chance to ask President Obama a question at Thursday’s town-hall event.

“I was railroaded! I was railroaded by ABC on the two-year anniversary of my father’s death!” Erica Garner could be heard yelling, according to pool reports.

Ms. Garner said she was offered the chance by ABC News to ask the president a question during the town hall, titled “The President and the People: A National Conversation,” but she did not get to do so, CNN reported.

“They liars,” she could be heard saying, CNN reported. “They got us all the way down here.”

“That’s what I have to do? A black person has to yell to be heard?” she reportedly shouted.

Mr. Obama was greeting other guests backstage when the commotion broke out, The New York Post reported. Eventually, Ms. Garner was ushered by aides to see the president.

“Don’t touch me,” she reportedly told one aide who touched her arm to lead her.

ABC News said in a statement that it extended the event by 30 minutes to get to as many questions as possible. The network said Mr. Obama spoke with Ms. Garner “at length” after the event concluded.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the president’s conversation with Ms. Garner was “brief.”

“After the ABC-hosted townhall that was taped this afternoon, the President had a brief opportunity to visit with Erica Garner who was upset that she didn’t get called on to ask a question,” he said in a statement.

It apparently did little to placate Ms. Garner, who took to social media to condemn ABC News.

“This town hall that presidential town hall #abc arranged is a farce. It was nothing short of full exploitation of Black pain and grief,” she tweeted Thursday. “They lied to me and my family to get us to travel to DC to participate. Taking time away from things I had planned to remember my father.”

“I went there trying to represent THE PEOPLE… #ABC wanted ratings even if it meant they had to profit from Black misery and oppression,” she added. “I was not upset about not speaking with [the President]. I was upset because #ABC lied and used me, my pain, and suffering for ratings.”

She said that from now on she would only speak to black reporters about race.

Her father died on July 17, 2014, in Staten Island. Video of the incident showed five police officers holding Eric Garner face down on the sidewalk as he repeatedly said, “I can’t breathe.” The phrase later became a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement, which staged demonstrations nationwide to protest his death.

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