Walmart pulls ‘I can’t breathe’ ad after Garner decision

The retail chain had been running the ad for a cellphone plan since the summer, but yanked it from the airwaves Thursday once viewers made connections to the Staten Island chokehold case.

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“I can’t breathe.”

Those were the last words of 43-year-old Eric Garner, who died after an encounter with New York police in July. Video of the encounter shows an officer putting Garner in a chokehold.

Garner’s words have become a mantra for protestors who have taken to the streets in the days following the Tuesday night announcement that a grand jury chose not to indict the officer involved in Garner’s choking death.

The sentence “I can’t breathe” was also in a Walmart ad that had been airing since the summer. In light of its connection to the Garner case, Walmart opted to pull that ad Thursday morning. It wasn’t even available on YouTube as of Friday morning.

“Based on feedback from customers we’re going to be re-editing the ad,” Deisha Barnett, Walmart’s senior director of corporate communications, told NBC News.

The ad featured a father and daughter, both of whom are black, as Garner was. In it, the father gives his daughter a new cellphone. She hugs him tightly around the neck and starts taking photos. The dad says, “I can’t breathe.”

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