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The Thelonius Monk Jazz Trumpet Competition And All Star Gala Concert
Bill Clinton speaks onstage during The Thelonius Monk Jazz Trumpet Competition and All Star Gala concert held at Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Calif. on Nov. 9, 2014. Michael Tran—FilmMagic/Getty Images

Bill Clinton Says Eric Garner ‘Didn’t Deserve to Die’

Dec 16, 2014

Former President Bill Clinton is set to address the Eric Garner case in a Tuesday interview with cable TV channel Fusion, saying that the unarmed black man from Staten Island, N.Y. did not deserve to die for allegedly selling cigarettes on the street.

“He was doing something he should not have been doing. That was illegal,” Clinton said during the interview. “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.”

Clinton spoke to Fusion during the Clinton Foundation’s “Future of the Americas” summit in Miami last week. Protests have continued in the days since a New York City grand jury opted not to indict a white police officer who subdued Garner in what appeared to be a chokehold, leading to his eventual death. The officer, Daniel Pantaleo, has denied using a chokehold.

Read more Selma Cast and Crew Wear ‘I Can’t Breathe’ Shirts to New York Premiere

Over the weekend, thousands of protestors took to the streets in Washington, D.C. and New York to show their discontent with the way police often treat brown and black people.

Clinton added there are “preconceptions wired into us and we have got to get beyond them,” when talking about race relations in America.

The full interview is set to air on Tuesday at 10p.m.

[Fusion]

Witness Protesters Taking Over the Streets After the Eric Garner Grand Jury Decision

Police Chokehold Death
A group of protesters rally against a grand jury's decision not to indict the police officer involved in the death of Eric Garner occupy the eastbound traffic lanes of the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City in the early morning hours of Dec. 4, 2014.Jason DeCrow—AP
Police Chokehold Death
People Protest No Indictment in Eric Garner Chokehold Case
Grand Jury Declines To Indict NYPD Officer In Eric Garner Death
Protests Erupt Across Country After Grand Jury Does Not Indict NYPD Officer Over Chokehold Death
Police stand guard on the West Side highway as protesters block traffic after the jury verdict in the death of Eric Garner in New York
Demonstrators Gather In Philadelphia To Protest Eric Garner Grand Jury Decision
BESTPIX - Demonstrators Gather In Philadelphia To Protest Eric Garner Grand Jury Decision
Protests Erupt Across Country After Grand Jury Does Not Indict NYPD Officer Over Chokehold Death
US-ERIC-GARNER-PROTEST
People take part in a protest against the grand jury decision on the death of Eric Garner in midtown Manhattan in New York
NYC reacts to Eric Garner Grand Jury decision
US-CRIME-POLICE-RACE-UNREST
Police Chokehold Death
A man holding a child walks past protesters demanding justice for the death of Eric Garner in Manhattan
People Protest over no indictment in Eric Garner's chokehold case in Atlanta, Georgia
A demonstrator stands next to makeshift memorial where Eric Garner died during arrest in July in Staten Island borough of New York
A group of protesters rally against a grand jury's decision not to indict the police officer involved in the death of Er
... VIEW MORE

Jason DeCrow—AP
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Read next: Poll: 57% of Americans Say Grand Jury Wrong Not to Indict Cop in Garner Case

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