Eric Garner’s activist daughter in coma after heart attack
The eldest daughter of Eric Garner, who died after a New York City police officer put him in a chokehold, is in a coma after suffering a heart attack, according to multiple reports.
A series of tweets went out on Erica Garner’s verified Twitter account asking people to pray for the activist. The account provided an update on Wednesday evening.
“Cat scan shows Erica suffered major brain damage from a lack of oxygen while in cardiac arrest,” the tweet said. “Please continue to pray hard for Erica and pray for her family and kids just as much.”
The Rev. Al Sharpton tweeted earlier this week that Garner, 27, had suffered a heart attack.
“Leaving hospital after praying for Erica Snipes, daughter of Eric Garner, who suffered a serious heart attack,” he wrote on Twitter. “Please PRAY for her.”
Garner’s mother, Esaw Snipes, told The New York Times that her daughter was in a medically induced coma following a heart attack, the newspaper reported.
In July 2014, police attempted to arrest Eric Garner, a 43-year-old father of six, for allegedly selling cigarrettes illegally in Staten Island. Video of the incident shows New York Police officer Daniel Pantaleo tackling Garner from behind and taking him to the ground using a department-banned chokehold.
Garner, who had asthma, was pronounced dead that day. His apparent last words — “I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe!” — became a rallying cry for protesters and outraged citizens who said the incident showed that law enforcement abused their power and mistreated people of color.
His death was ruled a homicide, but a grand jury decided not to indict Pantaleo on criminal charges. The city of New York settled with Eric Garner’s estate for $5.9 million in July 2015.
In the wake of her father’s death, Erica Garner became an activist and offered her perspective to the Black Lives Matter movement. She told CNN’s Don Lemon she believed her father’s death had more to do with police misconduct than race.
“I can’t really say it’s a black and white issue,” she said. “It’s about the police officer and abusing their power.”
During the 2016 Democratic presidential primaries, she endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and prominently appeared in an ad for his campaign.
“I feel like a representative for people throughout this whole nation because I’m doing this. I’m speaking out, me being his daughter,” she said in the ad. “That’s what I want to do. I just want to tell my truth.”
Sanders on Tuesday tweeted that his thoughts were with her and praised her “courage and insights.”
“My thoughts are with Erica Garner, her family and friends in hoping that she has a full recovery and rejoins the struggle for justice as soon as possible,” Sanders wrote on Twitter. “I have had the privilege of joining with her at a number of events and was deeply impressed with her courage and insights.”