Erica Garner (pictured far right), daughter of Eric Garner, held a march through Staten Island Thursday evening. It was the latest in a bi-weekly vigil she has lead since her father’s death.
“I want people who [are] protesting everywhere to know that this is what Staten Island is and that they need to come support me,” Garner said outside the Richmond County Courthouse as supporters chanted her father’s name on the steps behind her.
Watch Erica and supporters at her father’s vigil here:
“I started out with five people,” she noted, motioning to the group. “From these people, it started. And I don’t know these people; it started out with just family members.”
Garner’s goals for the demonstrations are police reform; the firing of Daniel Pantaleo, the officer who choked her dad; and an end to systemic police violence. “I’m not just fighting for my father, I’m fighting for everybody that, God forbid, it [police killings] happens to,” she added.
From the courthouse, Garner lead the group to the nearby 120th Precinct, where officers made sure to barricade the entrance. They then snaked around the corner and down Richmond Terrance, ending at the very street her father drew his last breaths.
“We need to get these police to stop killing our people,” said Ben Lawton (pictured left of Erica), near the makeshift candlelight vigil for his cousin. “Senseless violence. And they want us to not protest because their cops are being killed-the cops are being killed because they[‘re] doing wrong.”
“If they [were] doing right, they wouldn’t have to worry about it. You can’t respect people who are trying to kill us.”
As others held hands, Garner said, “I think about my dad every day, and I talk to him every day, as if he was here with me.”
For those interested in participating in the rallies, they meet every Tuesday and Thursday outside the Staten Island Ferry’s Manhattan side at 6 p.m. You can also listen to “This Stops Today,” a song Erica recently recorded with relatives honoring their patriarch here.
Also, the family is holding a GoFundMe, which you can donate to here.
See more pictures from the demonstration below: