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Families of Eric Garner and Delrawn Small Slam Mayor de Blasio’s Press Secretary for Racist Comments About “Fringe Activists” Criticizing the NYPD, and Demand Immediate Apology Today

New York, NY – Today, the families of Eric Garner and Delrawn Small slammed Mayor de Blasio’s press secretary Eric Phillips for his racist comments that critics of the NYPD are "fringe activists." Phillips first made the comments to Politico New York earlier today and, since then, he doubled down on them on Twitter. 

Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, and Victoria Davis, the sister of Delrawn Small, released the following joint statement today responding to Phillips, and demanding an immediate apology. 

“We both lost loved ones to police murder and misconduct while Mayor de Blasio has been in office and have yet to see any justice or accountability. We must deal with the pain of that loss every day. It’s frankly vile and racist for anyone to call police reform advocates like us “fringe activists.” Eric Phillips and the entire de Blasio administration owe us, our families, and all police accountability advocates an immediate apology today. Words have consequences, and Eric Phillips must be held accountable for his racist rhetoric, especially given that he is Mayor de Blasio’s top spokesman,” Ms. Carr and Ms. Davis said in a joint statement today. 

“Far from being fringe activists, we are at the center of efforts to make the NYPD more accountable and transparent to communities of color, and to ensure that NYPD officers who commit murder and misconduct face real disciplinary consequences. Our work is urgent and vital because de Blasio has a failed record on police reform. de Blasio is so scared of PBA President Pat Lynch that he won'e ever criticize the NYPD, even in horrific cases of police abuse and violence, as we saw recently with Jazmine Headley. Clearly, Phillips has internalized de Blasio's fear of offending Lynch and the PBA. It shows when he speaks for the Mayor," said Ms. Carr and Ms. Davis in their joint statement today. 

"We suspect Eric Phillips, a white man, has spent zero time with any grieving black women and grieving families of color like ours, and has never met with a police accountability advocate or activist. We encourage him to do some deep reflection about why his rhetoric is racist and wrong, and to choose his words much more carefully the next time he speaks about critics of the NYPD,”said Ms. Carr and Ms. Davis in their joint statement today. 


About Communities United for Police Reform

Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) is an unprecedented campaign to end discriminatory policing practices in New York, and to build a lasting movement that promotes public safety and policing practices based on cooperation and respect– not discriminatory targeting and harassment.

CPR brings together a movement of community members, lawyers, researchers and activists to work for change. The partners in this campaign come from all 5 boroughs, from all walks of life and represent many of those unfairly targeted the most by the NYPD. CPR is fighting for reforms that will promote community safety while ensuring that the NYPD protects and serves all New Yorkers.

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Topics: Delrawn Small Eric Garner