Erica Garner
Erica Garner

NEW YORK (AP) – The daughter of key Black Lives Matter figure Eric Garner died Saturday after a weeklong hospital stay following a heart attack.

Family members stated that 27-year-old Erica Garner went into cardiac arrest after an asthma episode and was placed in a medically induced coma Saturday night.

Her mother, Esaw Snipes-Garner, said her daughter’s cardiac arrest was triggered by an asthma attack. She stated her daughter suffered her first heart attack not long after giving birth to a baby boy in August. Doctors said the pregnancy had put a strain on her heart, which was later found to be enlarged.

In 2014, her father, Eric Garner, who was Black, was stopped on Staten Island for selling untaxed cigarettes and died after a White police officer subdued him with a chokehold. A grand jury declined to indict the officer; the city agreed to pay a $6 million civil settlement.

Garner’s last words, “I can’t breathe,” became a slogan for activists.

Erica Garner became a voice for police brutality and accountability after his death, criticizing Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio over policing matters. In 2016, she campaigned on behalf of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent, for president.

According to her official Twitter account,

“She was a warrior to the end. She stood up for justice for her father,” the Rev. Al Sharpton said in announcing the death of Garner at a New York hospital.

Garner’s official Twitter account, run by her family and friends since she became ill, asked that she be remembered as a mother, daughter, sister and aunt with a heart “bigger than the world.”

The family also ask the public to find a way to support children in the foster care system, in Garner’s memory. Having been part of the foster care system, Garner had made it part of her platform.

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