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THE LIFE AND ACHIEVEMENTS OF ERICA GARNER

Levi Burnett and Ahnayah Hughes

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Erica Garner, an American activist and daughter of the late Eric Garner, whose death inspired Erica’s activism, was born in New York City, on May 29, 1990, to Esaw and Eric Garner. Her main focus in life was social justice, and she was courageous. Loved ones described her as “outspoken,” and “strong.”

 

Her father’s death in 2014  is what sparked her career in politics. After being accused of selling illegal cigarettes, he was placed in an illegal chokehold by NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo, and after repeating “I can’t breathe” 11 times, he died. Erica said that his death impacted her deeply, and inspired her to expose the truth of what happened to him, and those like him. She wished to provide a voice for the voiceless throughout the country. “I’m never giving up, I’m never going to forget, and I never want the world to forget what happened to my dad,” Garner stated.

Garner’s activism was initiated with the goal to speak up for those who couldn’t speak for themselves, and expose the injustices within the police system. She wanted to fight for righteousness for those who had been wronged by this corrupt system. One of her most publicly noticed practices were the weekly “die-ins” she organized at the site of her father’s death, to keep his story in the public eye.

Ultimately, she achieved these goals. She brought awareness to immoral police practices, and kept the conversation about her father and his death going, ultimately bringing  hope to those who felt lost. She was a big part of the Black Lives Matter movement, which is instrumental in fighting for justice for people of color in the US. “If playing the race card is fighting for human rights for Black people unapologetically… Then deal me in.”

On December 24th, 2017, Erica suffered a heart attack, and she passed away on December 30th, 2017. The activist community mourns her death. Though she is gone, she and her work will never be forgotten.

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THE LIFE AND ACHIEVEMENTS OF ERICA GARNER