On (Jan. 24), Ebony reported that Gwen Carr received the Super Happy Healthy Kids Award at their eighth annual Black Tie Gala held in New York City’s Central Park.
The publication stated that the anti-bullying nonprofit honored her tenacious efforts in raising awareness of social justice issues in the wake of her son’s death. Carr is the mother of Eric Garner, the man who died in July 2014 from suffocation while being violently arrested by the NYPD.
In her acceptance statement, the 73-year-old spoke emotionally about the impact of losing a child and condemned violence.
“Your child, who laid under your heartbeat for nine months, and you know him or her better than anybody else, they don’t know what that does to you,” said Carr, according to Ebony. “I want to stop the violence, no matter what type of violence it is. It could be police violence. It could be street violence. It could be domestic violence. We have to come together because violence doesn’t have a color.”
Carr concluded by mentioning the E.R.I.C. Foundation, which stands for “Eliminating Racism and Inequality Collective.” She also made a charitable donation to Super Happy Healthy Kids in the organization’s name, Ebony stated.
Garner died on Staten Island after New York police officers attempted to detain him for allegedly selling single cigarettes. Before dying, he yelled, “I can’t breathe” 11 times, and Officer Daniel Pantaleo still refused to release Garner from the tight chokehold. The 43-year-old Black man then unconsciously laid face down on the sidewalk before receiving medical attention.
Footage of the vicious act got national attention, but Pantaleo received no criminal charges. Carr has been on a mission of activism since then. She wrote a book, “This Stops Today,” which is a memoir that supports her fight for racial equality, and worked with several organizations to bring awareness to other families victimized by police brutality.