Erica Garner, a 27-year-old activist whose father’s dying words became a rallying cry for protest against police brutality, has been hospitalized in serious condition after a heart attack, according to multiple reports.
Eric Garner, a black man who died in 2014 after a white NYPD officer put him in a chokehold, was recorded repeatedly telling the officer, “I can’t breathe.” A grand jury did not indict any officers over his death, a decision that prompted protests across the country.
Eric Garner’s oldest daughter, Erica, was a major force behind protests for justice for her father. In the years since she has continued to advocate more broadly, against police brutality and in support of racial equality.
Now she is hospitalized on life support, her mother, Esaw Snipes-Garner, told The New York Daily News.
Snipes-Garner told the Daily News that Garner suffered an asthma-induced heart attack on Saturday night. Garner, a mother of two, gave birth to her youngest child in August and the pregnancy put a strain on her heart, Snipes-Garner told the paper.
Garner is in a medically induced coma, Snipes-Garner told the New York Times on Monday.
Garner’s family posted on her Twitter account on Monday, to thank people for their prayers and support. “At this moment there are no updates,” the family said.
In the years since her father’s death, Erica Garner has remained active as a protester and speaker. She made headlines in February when she endorsed Bernie Sanders for president. Garner told NPR’s Rachel Martin that she was impressed by Sanders’ record.
“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 said.
“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.