Heart Attack Takes Away “Black Lives Matter” Activist Erica Garner at 27

Erica Garner died Saturday, a week after an asthma condition led to a heart attack | She was an activist for “Black Lives Matter” fighting against police excesses against African Americans

Heart Attack Takes Away “Black Lives Matter” Activist Erica Garner at 27

27-year-old Erica Garner, who was left with no choice but to become an activist of “Black Lives Matter” after her father Eric Garner died in a police chokehold in New York in 2014, died Saturday (Dec. 30) after she was put into a medically-induced coma on December 23, following a heart attack caused by an asthmatic condition.

Mother of an eight-year-old daughter and a son who is just four months old, Erica was undergoing treatment at a Brooklyn hospital.

Her death was confirmed by her family through her official Twitter account.

“When you report this you remember she was human: mother, daughter, sister, aunt. Her heart was bigger than the world. It really really was. She cared when most people wouldn’t have. She was good. She only pursued right, no matter what. No one gave her justice.”

Another tweet from Erica’s account, apparently from her sister, said:
“Erica the world loves you. I love you. I am glad you came into our lives. May you find peace in the next life that you deserved while you were here. I will always love you my sister. Love you.”

Erica’s father Eric Garner, who was 43 when he fell to police brutality during an arrest over illegal sale of loose cigarettes in Staten Island in July 2014, also suffered from asthma. “I can’t breathe,” were his last words before he died at the hands of white police officer Daniel Pantaleo, who had him in an illegal chokehold.

The grand jury hearing the case did not charge Pantaleo for the criminal act despite Eric’s death being ruled a homicide by medical examiners. To this day, Pantaleo remains a serving officer with the New York Police Department.

Her father’s death forced Erica into becoming an activist for “Black Lives Matter” – a movement protesting police atrocities against African Americans.

A video of the asthmatic Eric Garner’s dying moments, struggling for air he was mercilessly deprived of, was captured by an onlooker on his mobile phone.

Regardless of the incriminating video evidence, which went viral on social media, and the medical examiner’s testimony confirming homicide, the arresting officer went scot free.

A civil settlement for $5.9 million between New York City and the Garners in 2015 was “in the best interest of all parties,” according to New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer. “I believe that we have reached an agreement that acknowledges the tragic nature of Mr. Garner’s death while balancing my office’s fiscal responsibility to the City,” Stringer had added.

Paying his tribute to Erica, Senator Bernie Sanders said, “Though Erica didn’t ask to be an activist, she responded to the personal tragedy of seeing her father die while being arrested in New York City by becoming a leading proponent for criminal justice reform and for an end to police brutality.”

Speaking to CNN’s Don Lemon in 2014, Erica had said that her father’s death was more a case of police misdemeanor than a racially motivated act.

“I can’t really say it’s a black and white issue,” she had said. “It’s about the police officer and abusing their power.”

After having endorsed Senator Sanders during the Democratic presidential primaries in 2016, Erica had even featured in one of his ad campaigns.

“I feel like a representative for people throughout this whole nation because I’m doing this. I’m speaking out, me being his daughter,” she had said in the ad. “That’s what I want to do. I just want to tell my truth.”

“Black Lives Matter” activist Shaun King paid his tribute to Erica, praising her for her truthfulness and for being a “fierce protector of her friends and family.”

“When you were her friend, you her friend through all adversity,” King wrote on Twitter. “She was a fierce protector of her friends and family. A truth teller. As genuine and authentic of a soul you’ll ever encounter. We’re less because of this loss.”

“The police killed her unarmed, nonviolent father with an illegal chokehold and got off with nary a word,” Brittany Packnett, a leader in the Black Lives Matter movement and co-founder of Campaign Zero, said on Twitter. “Erica had to fight for justice. Then for her own life. She didn’t deserve this. Her father didn’t deserve this. Her family doesn’t deserve this. All this for being Black in America. I can’t.”

At the receiving end of many a criticism from “Black Lives Matter” activists, including Erica, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted his condolences on Saturday, calling her death a “horrible tragedy,” and said that he was “praying for her family, who have already been through so much. This city will miss her unshakable sense of justice and passion for humanity.”

“Erica Garner was an exceptional young woman. She was a loving daughter, sister, mother, friend,” the senator said in a subsequent tweet. “Jane and I send our deepest condolences to the entire Garner family and to all those she has impacted.”

And, in yet another tweet, Sanders said that he was “inspired by the commitment” Erica made “working towards a more just world for her children and future generations.” He went on to call her a “fighter for justice” and said that she would not be forgotten.

Rev. Al Sharpton called Erica a “warrior to the end” at a meeting with the National Action Network on Saturday.

“Many will say that Erica died of a heart attack, but that’s only partially true because her heart was already broken when she couldn’t get justice for her father,” he said. “Whatever the asthma and the others attacked was a piece of the heart left. Her heart was attacked by a system that would choke her dad and not hold accountable those that did it. If anything she would want us to do in memory of her is keep fighting for justice and keep fighting for families,” he added.

Leave your vote

3 points
Upvote Downvote

Total votes: 3

Upvotes: 3

Upvotes percentage: 100.000000%

Downvotes: 0

Downvotes percentage: 0.000000%

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *