December 31, 2017 / 3:22 AM / 10 months ago

Erica Garner, activist daughter of New York chokehold victim, dies at 27

(Reuters) - Erica Garner, the daughter of a New York man whose death during an attempted arrest helped spark the “Black Lives Matter” movement against police brutality, died on Saturday, a posting on her official Twitter account showed.

Garner, 27, suffered a heart attack triggered by an asthma attack a week ago, family members told the New York Daily News.

She became an activist against police brutality after the July 2014 death of her father, Eric Garner. The 43-year-old father of six died while New York City officers were attempting to arrest him on suspicion of selling loose cigarettes. Eric Garner also suffered from asthma.

“If anything, (what) she would want us to do in memory of her is keep fighting for justice, and keep fighting for families,” said civil rights leader Reverend Al Sharpton in a video posted online. Sharpton became an adviser to Eric Garner’s family after his death.

FILE PHOTO: Erica Garner, daughter of Eric Garner, a black man choked to death by a police officer last year, raises her hand to ask U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders a question at a town hall campaign event in Columbia, South Carolina, U.S., February 16, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Young/File Photo

Erica Garner often wore clothing emblazoned with “I can’t breathe,” the words her father wheezed when an officer allegedly put him in a chokehold while trying to subdue him.

That phrase became a rallying cry during protests across the United States in 2014 against police brutality, particularly against black people.

The New York Police Department has banned the use of chokeholds on suspects for more than two decades, but decided against indicting Daniel Pantaleo, the white officer who sought to subdue Garner. Activists say the prosecutor in the case, a Republican, was not aggressive enough in seeking the indictment.

A video of the incident went viral on social media in the days after it occurred in front of a beauty parlor in one of New York City’s five boroughs, Staten Island.

After the grand jury’s decision, the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association union released a statement from Pantaleo saying he never intended to harm Eric Garner and felt bad about his death.

FILE PHOTO: Eric Garner's daughter Erica Garner takes part in candlelight vigil at the site where her father died in July last year after being put in a chokehold, during a Martin Luther King Day service in the Staten Island borough of New York, U.S., January 19, 2015. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo

Reporting by Bernie Woodall in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Editing by Matthew Lewis

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