Photo Source: Courtesy of Esaw Garner

Photo courtesy of Esaw Garner

The widow of Eric Garner has just received a major benefit when it comes to living in New York. Esaw Snipes was the legal wife of Garner who died at the hands of police as he yelled “I can’t breathe” on July 17, 2014. His tragic death was captured on video and was the source of worldwide outrage that helped fuel the Black Lives Matter movement.

The city of New York reached an agreement with Garner’s family to settle the case out of court for $5.9 million. Though the Garner family almost certainly would have received more if the case had proceeded to trial, they didn’t want to continue reliving an incident that will haunt them for the rest of their lives. In November 2016, Snipes received an initial payment of $500K and will receive the rest of her settlement money once the case is resolved between the lawyers. Now comes word from the New York Housing Authority that Snipes will be able to continue to live in her apartment at Fulton Houses in Chelsea rent free. Because of federal law, the money from her lawsuit settlement is not counted as disqualifying income. It is estimated that Snipes’ share of the settlement will be close to $2.9 million possibly making her a millionaire living in public housing.

The Garner lawsuit was ugly between family members as it became known that Garner had a girlfriend and a daughter outside of his legal marriage. Jewel Miller is the mother of Garner’s 2-year-old daughter, Legacy, and had a three-year relationship with him prior to his death. Garner was married at the time to Esaw Garner and had four children. His widow acknowledged that she was aware of the relationship and the child. Last year, she told the media that she wanted no relationship with Miller or her daughter saying, “As far as her being accepted into our family, that’ll never happen. We know that’s her baby and fine, that’s what she’s entitled to.”

A DNA test has proved that Legacy is Garner’s daughter and is in line to get the largest share of a pending settlement.

Mo Barnes

"Mo Betta" Maurice "Mo" Barnes is a graduate of Morehouse College and Political Scientist based in Atlanta. Mo is also a Blues musician.