Erica Garner, the 27-year-old daughter of Eric Garner, was mourned during a funeral in Harlem on Monday (Jan. 8). Hundreds came to the First Corinthian Baptist Church to pay their respects to Garner who suffered a heart attack right before Christmas and died on Dec. 30.
Rev. Al Sharpton delivered the eulogy at the funeral, lauding Garner as a “real warrior” who “didn’t care about awards of press,” the New York Times reports.
Spotted outside the @FCBC_NYC church where Erica Garner was, as Pastor @MikeWalrond said, “celebrated for the warrior she is— not was, but is— because when someone has had the impact she had, you don’t speak about her in the past tense.” #restInPower Erica Garner @es_snipes pic.twitter.com/JIrIi4n9Yd
— Katie🌹Halper (@kthalps) January 9, 2018
But the celebration of life didn’t come without apparent family drama. According to Newsday, Garner’s paternal grandmother, Gwen Carr, and her cousin, were not allowed inside the funeral. “I can’t say goodbye to my cousin,” Benjamin Lawton reportedly said. “This is not something that we make into a media event. This is so messed up.”
Carr pointed to her daughter-in-law, Esaw “Pinky” Garner, for shutting her out of the ceremony. “She didn’t want none of our family in there, on my side — the Garners,” Carr said according to the New York Post.
After the service, Sharpton confirmed the “family friction” which included a reported outburst from an unidentified person during the funeral. “I hope we can heal whatever the family friction is and keep fighting for justice,” Sharpton said, according to the Times.
Following the funeral, several activists held a “Shut It Down” rally in Garner’s honor, which led to some being arrested by NYPD officers. Demonstrators marched to the Staten Island precinct to demand the firing of NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo, the cop who put Eric Garner in a fatal chokehold.
— ChuckModi (@ChuckModi1) January 9, 2018
— Madina Toure (@madinatoure) January 9, 2018