(NEW YORK) — Erica Garner, who became a nationally-known activist against police abuse following her father’s death after he was put in a police chokehold, has died following a recent heart attack, her official Twitter site confirmed.
Garner, 27, had been hospitalized following a heart attack on Dec. 24.
She “suffered major brain damage from a lack of oxygen while in cardiac arrest,” a family member wrote on Erica Garner’s verified Twitter page on Wednesday. “Please continue to pray hard for Erica and pray for her family and kids just as much.”
Erica Garner became an activist after the death of her father, Eric Garner, in Staten Island, New York, in 2014. The elder Garner, 43, died after being put in a chokehold by New York police officer Daniel Pantaleo. Eric Garner had argued with officers upon being approached for suspicion of selling loose cigarettes.
Chokeholds are prohibited by the NYPD, and a ruling by the New York City medical examiner found Eric Garner died due to “compression of neck (choke hold).” A grand jury in December 2014 decided not to press charges against Pantaleo. The city later settled with Garner’s family for $5.9 million, WABC reported.
Her father’s final words, “I can’t breathe,” were captured on cellphone video and became a rallying cry for protesters against police brutality.
Erica Garner became an outspoken activist. She also appeared in a campaign commercial for Sen. Bernie Sanders during his run for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016.
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