Black Lives Matter activist Erica Garner dies aged 27 | News | DW | 31.12.2017
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Black Lives Matter activist Erica Garner dies aged 27

The daughter of Eric Garner became a leading civil rights activist in the United States after her father was killed by a police chokehold. Her family said that "no one gave her justice."

Black Lives Matter activist Erica Garner has died nearly a week after being hospitalized for a heart attack triggered by an asthma attack. She was 27.

Her official Twitter account confirmed the death on Saturday, saying "her heart was bigger than the world."

Erica Garner became a leading activist against US police brutality after her father, Eric Garner, 43, was killed by a police chokehold in 2014 in New York. Police had confronted him for allegedly selling loose cigarettes on the street.

Eric Garner also suffered from asthma and obesity. The video of his death, in which his last words are "I can't breathe," sparked nationwide protests against police brutality against African Americans.

Read more: Erica Garner: 'These cops are still killing us'

Medical examiners determined the cause of death to be a chokehold, which is illegal under New York City police rules. However, a grand jury did not charge any of the officers involved in the arrest. 

In 2015, New York City reached a civil settlement with the Garner family for $5.9 million (€ 4.9 million).

Widespread condolences

Erica Garner's death was met by many condolences on social media. 

Senator Bernie Sanders called her a "leading proponent for criminal justice reform and for an end to police brutality."

American football player Colin Kaepernick, known for taking a knee during the national anthem in protest against injustices against African Americans, said she would be missed by many.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city would miss Erica Garner's "unshakable sense of justice and passion for humanity."

But Erica Garner's official account expressed anger in return, calling on de Blasio to "explain how she died with no justice."

The official account also retweeted an earlier tweet from October criticizing de Blasio. 

Erica Garner leaves behind two children, including a son she had in August.


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