Erica Garner: NYC Activist, Mother And Freedom Fighter, Brain Dead After Heart Attack
From the wretched pain of loss, Erica Garner used activism to find herself. The 27-year-old was hospitalized this week following a massive heart attack. Her health struggle comes three years after her father, Eric Garner, died after being put in a chokehold by a New York Police Department officer.
His last words, "I can't breathe," have become immortalized into a movement against police brutality and injustice around the world. His eldest daughter immediately took up the fight, protesting in the streets to see if justice would be served.
A grand jury decided not to indict the officers involved in her father's death, igniting a flame inside Erica, pushing her to stand up for those in similar positions. Her plight, an ever-present and all-encompassing war against a corrupt and morally wicked system, may well have killed her.
Garner gave birth in August and her heart never quite recovered from the pregnancy, a relative told the New York Daily News.
On Christmas Day, her family posted on Twitter that they were uplifting by the well wishes from her supporters: "The Garner/Snipes family wants to thank you all for your prayers and support. At this moment there are no updates on Ericas condition. They ask that you take this holiday to enjoy your loved ones and for self care. More updates will come as they are available."
The Garner/Snipes family wants to thank you all for your prayers and support. At this moment there are no updates on Ericas condition. They ask that you take this holiday to enjoy your loved ones and for self care. More updates will come as they are available.— officialERICA GARNER (@es_snipes) December 25, 2017
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Garner stepped into the political arena, endorsing Bernie Sanders.
"He's been, basically, a protester his whole career. He's not scared to go up against the systematic racism that exists in America today," Garner told NPR. "I want our young people, especially our protesters that's putting [their] bodies on the line to bring racial issues to the forefront, to know that their vote matters," she said.
As Garner's health continues to deteriorate, her family has been called in to be with her in her final moments. Also in this moment, we can't help but see a correlation between the stress an unjust system has on the minds and bodies of black women and people of color.
In New York City, black women are 12 times more likely than their white counterparts to die of complications from their pregnancies, according to Wonkette.
Erica Garner literally gave all of her heart. She is a mother and now, as her father tragically before her, will become a movement.