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Erica Garner, the 27-year-old civil rights activist and daughter of Eric Garner, was hospitalized over the weekend and placed in a medically-induced coma after suffering a heart attack on Saturday night. According to Erica’s mother, Esaw Snipes-Garner, the cardiac arrest was triggered by an asthma attack.
Since Christmas Eve, one of Erica’s co-workers has been live-tweeting updates on her condition and thanking everyone for the outpouring of support that has grown exponentially since Erica’s condition was made public.
“Right now, the family is just praying and asking for everyone to keep her in their prayers,” Snipes-Garner said in an interview. “She’s fighting.”
Tuesday morning, Erica’s co-worker tweeted a handful of updates raising alarm after the New York City Police Department “cleared [Erica’s] support from” the intensive care unit “without explanation.”
“I don’t trust NYPD,” one of the updates reads. “They are saying that they mixed up the list of people who had permission with the people who don’t. Until they figure it out all visits are dead. Problem is, I have been up there all night with an official pass from the hospital!”
Ultimately, it appears, Erica’s co-worker was allowed back in the room.
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Since 2014, the words “I can’t breathe”—uttered by Eric Garner after a New York City police officer placed him in a chokehold that led to his death—have served as a rallying cry for activists combating police brutality and fighting for racial equality nationwide.
In December of 2014, a grand jury decided not to indict officer Daniel Pantaleo, despite the New York City medical examiner’s classification of Garner’s death as a homicide.
Following the death of her father, Erica Garner became increasingly involved in civil rights activism in Staten Island, leading marches and rallies in an effort to call attention to systemic racism and injustice.
Garner stepped into the world of presidential politics in 2016, when she became a prominent supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the Democratic primary.
In February of 2016, Garner and her young daughter Alyssa were featured in a three-minute Sanders campaign ad detailing how the death of her father compelled her to become more involved in the civil rights struggle.
“I’m never giving up,” she said. “I’m never gonna forget, and I don’t want the world to forget.”
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