And in New York City, anti-police brutality activist Erica Garner has suffered “major brain damage,” following an asthma-induced heart attack over the weekend. While some news outlets reported on Thursday that she was brain-dead with no chance of recovery, Erica’s family members rejected those accounts, saying they are still holding out hope and that the doctors have registered some brain activity. Erica has helped lead the struggle for justice for her father, Eric Garner, who was killed when police officers in Staten Island wrestled him to the ground, pinned him down and applied a fatal chokehold in 2014. His final words were “I can’t breathe,” which he repeated 11 times. In August, Erica Garner gave birth to her second child, a boy named after her late father. Doctors say the pregnancy strained her heart. This is Erica Garner, speaking on Democracy Now! in 2016.
Erica Garner: “Well, when you deal with grief, when you talk about grief and you talk about family and how regular families deal with it, you know, families have problems. Family has trouble to—with coping with it. But it makes it so different because now we are part of this national scale. … I still haven’t accepted that my father is gone, even though I talk about my dad, but I talk about him in a case study, like I’ve been studying his case. For the latest updates, you can go to my website or to Twitter, OfficialEricaGarner.com or OfficialErica on Twitter. And, you know, you can see I’m constantly reading articles and doing the research on my dad’s case. But I’m not taking care of me.”