Erica Garner, Daughter of Police Brutality Victim Eric Garner, Dead at 27

Erica Garner, daughter of Eric Garner, leads a march of
people protesting the Staten Island, N.Y., grand jury’s
decision not to indict a police officer involved in the
chokehold death of Eric Garner in July, on Dec. 11, 2014.
(Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Erica Garner, the daughter of police brutality victim Eric
Garner, who died in 2014 after a New York City police officer
restrained him using an illegal chokehold, passed away on
Saturday morning at the age of 27. Her official email account
confirmed the news.

Erica, a mother of two, had been fighting for her life ever
since suffering a severe heart attack that was brought on by an
asthma attack on Christmas Eve, which left her in critical
condition. She sustained major brain damage due to lack of
oxygen and had been in a coma ever since.

It was her second heart attack.

Back in August of this year, Erica gave birth to her second
child, a son, whom she named Eric after her father. It was
after baby Eric’s birth that the activist suffered her first
heart attack. It was then that doctors discovered that she had
an enlarged heart.

“She was a warrior, she was a fighter and we didn’t pull the
plug on her,” Esaw Snipes, Garner’s mother said, according
to the New York Daily News
. “She left on her own terms.”

Erica Garner was indeed a force to be reckoned with, occupying
space and speaking out loudly against police brutality ever
since her father’s July 2014 death. She was unafraid, unabashed
and unapologetic about what it was she was fighting for.

Mere months after her father’s death, Erica staged a “die-in”
at the very same location in Staten Island where he had a
confrontation with police, leading to his death, even as he
pleaded with NYPD officers, “I can’t breathe.”

Eric Garner’s last words became the rallying cry for a
movement, as protests swept the entire nation. His death was
followed weeks later by Michael Brown’s killing by a police
officer in Ferguson, Mo., the catalyst for the Black Lives
Matter Movement.

In July 2016, two years after her father’s death, Erica took on
President Obama and ABC News during a presidential town hall
that the network was hosting.

The activist got up and left the taping of the event, after she
said she had been “railroaded” by the network and denied the
opportunity to ask the president a question, an opportunity
that she said she had been promised.

Erica said that she had an agreement that she would have been
able to ask President Obama about the Justice Department’s
investigation into her father’s death, only to be blindsided.

The mother of two was particularly frustrated as she cleared
time to go to Washington, D.C., even as she was planning an
event for the then-two-year anniversary of her father’s death.

Two months later after taking that stand, she called out New
York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, after the mayor claimed he was
barred from releasing the records of her father’s killer,
Daniel Pantaleo, citing an archaic law that has been ignored
for the past 30 years as the reason why he could not do so.

“Just cause you love Black pussy don’t mean you love Black
lives… cc @BilldeBlasio,” Garner wrote on Twitter, pointing to
the fact that de Blasio, a white man, is married to a black
woman and raising a black son but still couldn’t give a damn
about state-sanctioned killings.

“The thing that kills me is that De Blasio is raising a Black
man . . . This is the example . . . My dad lays down and rolls
over for white supremacy,” she tweeted.

During the 2016 presidential election, she was an outspoken
supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders, with Sanders’ presidential
campaign releasing a stirring video, featuring Erica somberly
speaking about being a mother and activist.

Her light, her will to fight, her outspokenness and her truth
shone brightly in the face of oppression and sometimes outright
dismissal. In her passing this world has lost more than could
possibly be recognized.

Our thoughts go out to her entire family at this incredibly
difficult time.

Rest in Power, Erica.

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