The late Eric Garner’s son on Wednesday condemned a self-styled Black Lives Matter leader for threatening “riots,” “fire” and “bloodshed” if Mayor-elect Eric Adams revives the NYPD’s undercover anti-gun efforts — calling it “an insult to my family and the movement at large.”
In a prepared statement, Eric Garner Jr. also called on Hawk Newsome to take back the controversial remarks he made after meeting with Adams last week.
“Hawk Newsome threatening to burn down our city in response to Mayor-Elect Eric Adams’s proposal of bringing back the anti-crime unit in plain clothes is an insult to injury to my family and the movement at large,” Garner said.
“On behalf of the entire movement I must ask you to retract your statement and redirect that righteous anger to help all of us form a more constructive way of accomplishing our goals because at the end of the day, we all we got!”
He added: “I stand with Mayor-Elect Eric Adams on this.”
The chokehold death of Garner’s dad, while he was being arrested for allegedly selling loose cigarettes in Staten Island in 2014, became a touchstone event for Black Lives Matter protesters, who adopted his repeated pleas of “I can’t breathe!” as a rallying cry.
The cop who put the elder Garner in the prohibited chokehold, Daniel Pantaleo, avoided criminal charges and a federal civil-rights prosecution but was fired by the NYPD in August 2019.
In his statement, Eric Garner Jr. said, “We have worked hard to pass the Eric Garner anti-chokehold bill, and as a result my brothers and sisters have a fighting chance against police brutality.”
“The late Kobe Bryant, along with the Los Angeles Lakers, wore my father’s last words on t-shirts to bring awareness to his murder! My late sister Erica Garner sacrificed her life for this!” he said.
And in remarks directed at Newsome, he added: “I will not let you or anyone else jeopardize our progress.”
In response to Garner’s statement, Newsome told The Post, “God bless him and his fight for justice for his father.”
He declined to comment further.
Following his Nov. 10 meeting with Adams, Newsome — who leads Black Lives Matter of Greater New York but has been disavowed by the Black Lives Matter Global Network — warned, “If they think they are going back to the old ways of policing then we’re going to take to the streets again.”
“There will be riots. There will be fire, and there will be bloodshed,” he added.
In response to Newsome’s threat, Adams defiantly declared on CNN the following morning that he’d keep his campaign pledge “to put in place a plainclothes gun unit.”
“We must zero in on gun violence in our community,” he said.
The former NYPD captain, who ran on a law-and-order platform, also vowed at a subsequent Manhattan news conference that “This city is not going to be a city of riots, it’s not going to be a city of burning.”
Adams’ stance won him the admiration of state Senate Minority Leader Robert Ortt (R-Lockport), who said he wanted to work with the incoming mayor as “partners” to combat the “troubling violent crime rates all across our state.
“The safety of New York’s residents should be our No. 1 priority as elected officials, which as a former law enforcement officer, I’m sure you understand,” Ortt wrote Sunday in a letter exclusively obtained by The Post.
Meanwhile, Newsome cut short an interview a Saturday night interview with Fox News host Dan Bongino after being called “cowardly” for refusing to condemn rioting “after a police use-of-force incident you don’t like.”
” No. What I’ll say is, I understand when a police officer unjustifiably kills someone, why people lash out. I understand that completely,” Newsome said.
“I’m not going to condemn, nor am I going to condone it.”