Ben Carr, Stepfather of Eric Garner, Dies at Daughter’s Wedding

People participate in a protest to mark the five year anniversary of the death of Eric Garner during a confrontation with a police officer in the borough of Staten Island on July 17, 2019 in New York City.
Photo: Spencer Platt (Getty Images)

Ben Carr, the stepfather of Eric Garner—the Staten Island man who was killed after being placed in a banned chokehold by an NYPD officer—died Friday in Jamaica during his daughter’s wedding, according to reports.

PIX 11 was the first to report that Carr had “a medical emergency while attending Elisha Flagg-Garner’s—Eric’s sister—wedding.” He later died of an apparent heart attack, according to the New York Post.

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Rev. Al Sharpton noted Carr’s passing in an Instagram post on Saturday.

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“Almost 2 weeks ago Ben Carr stood with his wife, Gwen Carr (mother of NYPD victim Eric Garner), his grandson, Eric, Jr and his daughter at the gravesite of Eric. This morning Ben passed while in Jamaica attending his daughter’s wedding,” Sharpton wrote.

This tragedy comes 19 months after the death of Eric’s daughter, Erica, who also died of a heart attack at age 27 after giving birth to her second child, the Post notes.

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The Garner-Carr family recently marked the fifth anniversary of Garner’s death with protests after the Department of Justice refused to pursue charges against Daniel Pantaleo, the NYPD officer who held Garner in that banned chokehold while trying to arrest him for selling loose cigarettes on July 17, 2014. Garner, whose last words “I can’t breathe” became a rallying cry for the Movement for Black Lives, died of an asthma attack brought on by the chokehold.

It should be noted that Pantaleo continues to draw a check while NYPD Police Commissioner James O’Neill considers whether the officer will remain on the force, the Post reports.

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Genetta M. Adams

Genetta M. Adams is Managing Editor of The Root.