Family members provided an update on her condition Wednesday evening after the outspoken activist against police brutality had a heart attack on Dec. 24. New York ABC station WABC confirmed Garner suffered a heart attack over the holiday weekend.
In an update on her verified Twitter page, a family member wrote Wednesday, she "suffered major brain damage from a lack of oxygen while in cardiac arrest. Please continue to pray hard for Erica and pray for her family and kids just as much."
Update: Cat scan shows Erica suffered major brain damage from a lack of oxygen while in cardiac arrest. Please continue to pray hard for Erica and pray for her family and kids just as much.— officialERICA GARNER (@es_snipes) December 28, 2017
Garner, 27, became an activist after the death of her father in Staten Island, New York, in 2014. The elder Garner died after being put in a chokehold by NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo after the 43-year-old argued with officers upon being approached for suspicion of selling loose cigarettes. Chokeholds are prohibited by the NYPD, and a ruling by the New York City medical examiner found Eric Garner died due to "compression of neck (choke hold)." A grand jury in December 2014 decided not to press charges against Pantaleo. The city later settled with Garner's family for $5.9 million, WABC reported.
Her father's final words, "I can't breathe," were captured on cellphone video and became a rallying cry for protestors against police brutality.
Erica Garner became an outspoken -- and unfiltered -- critic on Twitter. She also appeared in a campaign commercial for Sen. Bernie Sanders during his run for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016. Sanders offered his best wishes to Garner and her family on Tuesday, and praised her activism.
My thoughts are with Erica Garner, her family and friends in hoping that she has a full recovery and rejoins the struggle for justice as soon as possible. I have had the privilege of joining with her at a number of events and was deeply impressed with her courage and insights.— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) December 26, 2017
New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams, an outspoken critic of police abuse himself, tweeted "RIP" and "sorry to hear the news" to Erica Garner just after midnight on Thursday. The family quickly responded the tweet was not accurate.