The firebrand daughter of police chokehold victim Eric Garner died in Brooklyn Saturday morning, sources told the New York Daily News. She was 27.
The beloved and outspoken Erica Garner had been fighting for her life since she suffered a massive heart attack a week ago, family members told the Daily News Thursday. Relatives and friends had kept a constant vigil at Woodhull Hospital. Doctors declared her legally brain dead this past week with zero chance of recovery and, despite the denials of family members, it appears that the diagnosis and grim prognosis proved to be true.
Garner’s heart attack was reportedly triggered by an asthma attack that she’d suffered with for years.
Garner became an outspoken critic of police brutality after her father’s untimely and senseless death in 2013. Eric Garner was killed by an outlawed chokehold employed by a member of the New York Police Department in the Staten Island borough of New York City. He was being accosted for selling loose cigarettes on the streets when plainclothes officers sought to detain him. When they thought he was resisting their command to surrender, he was put down violently.
Garner’s wife eventually settled with the city for approximately $1M and decided to remain in the same public housing she had been living in before his killing.
Eric Garner’s pleas of “I can’t breathe!” as he was put into a chokehold by Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo became a national rallying cry and helped spark the Black Lives Matter movement. Athletes and celebrities such as LeBron James and Derrick Rose of the NBA wore T-shirts with the famous plea stenciled across the front.
That is why when Erica Garner’s son was born in August, she named him after her father. But with the miracle of life came a major medical malady that triggered the events that led to her tragic death.
Garner suffered her first heart attack shortly after the delivery of her son. Doctors stated Erica Garner’s pregnancy stressed her already enlarged heart.
Garner had been in a coma since Dec. 23, when an asthma attack triggered the second, and terminal, heart attack. The person running her popular Twitter account told Garner’s 35K followers Wednesday that a CT scan revealed that she had suffered brain damage “from lack of oxygen while in cardiac arrest.”
Family, friends and fans were only left to hope for a miracle.
“We are just praying for a miracle,” Rev. Al Sharpton told the Daily News after he visited Erica Garner in the hospital. “(Erica) was a warrior. She was a real activist, she was always involved. From three years ago, she never stopped. She was always at rallies, she was always calling me, ‘Reverend, we’ll do this. Reverend, we’ll do that. We’ll do it your way, then I’m gonna do it different than you.’
“It’s just sad to see her laying there and not the active Erica that we know,” Sharpton added.