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Activist Erica Garner dies, age 27, after heart attack
Ms. Garner became an outspoken opponent of police brutality after a New York Police Department officer used an unauthorized chokehold on her father in 2014.
By Delila James
Jan 12, 2018

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WASHINGTON D.C. — Erica Garner, 27, who became an activist after the death of her father, Eric Garner, by a New York police officer in 2014, died on Saturday after a heart attack.

Ms. Garner was hospitalized at Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center in Brooklyn last week after an asthma attack triggered a major heart attack.

"The only thing I can say is that she was a warrior," said Ms. Garner's mother, Esaw Snipes, as reported by The New York Times. "She fought the good fight. This is just the first fight in 27 years she lost."

Ms. Garner became a public figure and outspoken opponent of police brutality after a New York Police Department officer used an unauthorized chokehold on her father in 2014 in response to complaints he was selling untaxed cigarettes. Mr. Garner, who also suffered from asthma and cried out "I can't breathe" 11 times, died as a result.

Although the city medical examiner ruled Mr. Garner's death a homicide, no charges were brought against the police officer responsible.

"Erica took the truth with her everywhere she went, even if that truth made people uncomfortable," said DeRay McKesson of the Black Lives Matter movement, in The Times report.

Ms. Garner took a long view of her activism.

"Even with my own heartbreak, when I demand justice, it's never just for Eric Garner," she wrote in The Washington Post in 2016. "It's for my daughter; it's for the next generation of African-Americans."

In addition to her 8-year-old daughter, Ms. Garner is survived by a 4-month-old son, named Eric.