As the matriarch of one of Staten Island's largest African-American families, Gwendolyn Garner has earned nationwide recognition lately as the mother of Eric Garner, a man murdered by the New York Police Department in July of 2014. Caught on camera, his death played an integral role in the ongoing conversation about police brutality in the United States, but her story begins in South Brooklyn, where she lived most of her life. Read More >
A longtime employee of both the post office and New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Mrs. Garner is now taking the city in which she raised her family to task, advocating for a full serving of justice, not only for her own, but for families of police brutality at the hands of the NYPD. With 3 children, 15 grandchildren, and 6 great-grandchildren, her voice is that of several generations, all of whom have suffered greatly at the loss of their beloved Eric and who grieve for the mothers of victims who have not received extensive media coverage.
Her work with some of those mothers is embodied by the Justice Committee, an organization which has just returned from Albany, where they petitioned Governor Cuomo for an executive order to provide their ongoing battle with a special prosecutor. As the legal proceedings continue, Gwen’s maternal sensibilities will not allow a moment’s pause in the fight for accountability at the hands of lawmakers, and she remains stridently dedicated to the cause. Read Less ^