Erica Garner Passes Away At 27
First, A Little Background...
Eric Garner was infamously murdered by Staten Island Police officer Daniel Pantaleo after being approached on suspicion of selling cigarettes without tax stamps. Garner, who infamously wheezed "I can't breath" 11 times before becoming unconscious, died one hour later. Despite the fact that the autopsy report was branded "homicide", and despite the fact that NYPD policy prohibits the use of choke-holds, Pantaleo was not convicted of murder.
After her father's murder in 2014, Erica Garner decided to become an activist for justice and racial equality. She frequently spoke at rallies and marches, addressing issues like police reform, criminal justice reform, and systemic racism. She has appeared on several media outlets to speak out for justice, albeit, as she told RT America after 2 years of protest, "I have seen no change".
The first sign that anything was wrong was a tweet sent out from Erica Garner's Twitter account, which simply read "This is one of Erica's workers. Pray for her." Confusion and speculation mounted for the next 5 minutes until the next message read, "She is in a coma." Perhaps the emotion I felt first was the wrong one, but there it was. Anger. I recalled hearing the news of her father's death, seemingly not so long ago. The story of his murder by police was unprecedented, and bordered on being a brutal attack. Her fathers last words became a rallying cry for the change that never seemed to come. "I Can't Breath". Is this how the life of a vibrant young activist and justice seeker would end? It seemed wrong, but as time passed the news of her condition only worsened. By the 28, reports were coming out that doctors said she had "no chance of recovery", but her family, her friends, and a cacophony of supporters online fought on.
On December 30, another heart-sinking tweet was sent out, confirming reports of Erica's death, and adding the words "we did not deserve her." She was 27 years old; A year younger than me. A daughter who wished she had her father back, a mother who could only hope for a better world for her daughter, and activist with the youthful spirit of righteous indignation toward the injustices of this ugly world. I suppose there isn't much to add to this except perhaps to echo the sentiments of her family's initial response. "We did not deserve her". Rest in power, Erica Garner.