In a cruel and tragic twist to the end of 2017, activist Erica Garner is reportedly brain dead after suffering a massive heart attack. Erica is the daughter of Eric Garner, who was killed by Staten Island police in 2014 when they put him in a choke hold. Garner senior’s death helped to galvanize the Black Lives Matter movement, a cause his daughter took up after her father’s demise. Her family members are coming to the 27 year old’s bedside to say their farewells. Doctors say there is no hope of recovery. Garner’s condition was announced from her Twitter account.
The account also complained about a mixup with the NYPD concerning who would be allowed to visit Garner at Woodhull hospital as doctors tried to determine how best to treat the young woman. Many were suspicious, given the family’s history with New York Police. Since going into a coma, Garner’s account has also continued to retweet condolences and thanks for her contributions to the movement against police brutality. Even Bernie Sanders, who Garner supported, tweeted in her honor.
In August, Garner became a mother and named her son for her father. Pregnancy apparently strained a heart condition, and when she had a recent asthma attack, it set off cardiac arrest, and she felt into a coma on Saturday. Many on Twitter noted that her death from a heart attack at such a young age spoke to the huge tragedy the Garner family has already lived through, and the often stressful experiences of activists and black women.
Some mistakenly responded to a premature tweet from Brooklyn city Councilman Jumaane Williams announcing her death. Garner’s mother Esaw Snipes, however, set the record straight on Thursday. “She’s not gone, she’s brain dead,” said Snipes. “Physically she is still with us.” And it’s clear from the outpouring of response that, like her father, love for Garner and her legacy will endure far beyond her short life. Rest in power.