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Eric Garner’s mother says Lt. Caron Nazario, who was pepper-sprayed in a Virginia traffic stop, is part of her family




Nazario was arrested by two police officers in Windsor, Virginia, in December. During the traffic stop, so police believed a license plate was missing, officers sprayed pepper with Nazario and pushed him to the ground with the guns out, according to body camera footage.

“I didn’t even know it (it was him) when I saw the video,” he said Gwen Carr, Garner’s mother, during a roundtable Wednesday at the National Action Network’s annual convention. “I was too shocked to know.”

Carr’s niece is the one who told him the man in the video was Nazario, Carr said.

“This is happening again, you know,” Carr’s niece said, according to Carr. “First to my cousin, then to my nephew.”

From left to right: Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner; Sequette Clark, mother of Stephon Clark; Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin; Lesley McSpadden, mother of Michael Brown; and attorney Benjamin Crump speak Wednesday at the National Action Network's (NAN) Virtual Convention 2021 in New York.

Carr did not explain in her comments exactly how she and Nazario are related, but said she saw him at a funeral in February.

“He was traumatized. He couldn’t say anything about it. He thought the police would retaliate, but then thank God he got it. And I want everyone to pray for him,” he said.

Garner, a 43-year-old black man, died after police officers tried to arrest him for allegedly selling cigarettes illegally in New York in 2014. Video of the arrest shows an officer using a choke while Garner shouts, “I can’t breathe.”

Garner’s death, which occurred three weeks before Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri, was one of the final straws that sparked an increase in police liability claims and led the Black Lives Matter movement to the vanguard of national consciousness.

CNN’s Laura Ly and LaCrisha McAllister contributed to this report.