Erica Garner, Activist and Mother, Dies at 27 Following Coma
Erica Garner, a tireless activist for police reform, has passed away on Saturday (Dec. 30) after being placed in a coma for several days. She was 27.
Garner, who is the oldest daughter of Eric Garner, who died in July 2014 after NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo restrained him with an illegal chokehold, was on life support at Woodhull Hospital in Brooklyn, N.Y., after suffering a heart attack on Christmas Eve.
Her mother, Esaw Snipes-Garner, told the New York Daily News that her daughter's cardiac arrest was triggered by an asthma attack. Months prior, doctors discovered that Erica had an enlarged heart following the birth of her son.
On Saturday morning, relatives and friends held a vigil outside of Woodhull Hospital. “She was a warrior, she was a fighter and we didn’t pull the plug on her,” said Esaw Snipes. “She left on her own terms.”
Prior to her death, Erica was an outspoken critic of police brutality and state-sanctioned violence following the death of her father in July 2014. Eric Garner’s pleas of “I can’t breathe!” as he was put into an illegal chokehold by officer Pantaleo helped galvanized the Black Lives Matter movement.
A few months later, Erica staged a “die-in” on the same Staten Island N.Y. corner where her father was placed in an illegal chokehold and died. She was also very critical of the Democratic Party, the war on drugs and systemic oppression in urban communities.
"Erica the world loves you. I love you. I am glad you came into our lives. May you find the peace in the next life that you deserved while you were here. I will always love you my sister. love you," read a statement via Erica Garner's official Twitter account.
Erica leaves behind a husband, an 8-year-old daughter, a 4-month-old son, and a slew of family and friends to mourn her legacy and life.
Rest in peace, Erica Garner. Thank you for your service.
Read some of the Twitter reactions below.