The youngest daughter of Eric Garner paid her respects Monday to two police officers who were murdered execution style in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn over the weekend.
The New York Post reported that Emerald Snipes-Garner, 22, lit a blue candle at a makeshift memorial at the site where officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were shot Saturday afternoon. Snipes-Garner told a crowd of around 300 onlookers that she had visited the Ramos family after reading son Jaden's tribute to his fallen father on Facebook.
"It hit my heart because I know what it feels like with this upcoming season and you don’t have your father around," Snipes-Garner said. "I know firsthand what you’re feeling."
Eric Garner died this past July after a confrontation with police offices over his sale of untaxed cigarettes. An amateur video appeared to show a white officer putting Garner in a chokehold and wrestling him to the ground. Garner could be heard on the tape saying "I can't breathe." The slogan became a rallying cry for protesters after a grand jury declined to indict the officer involved earlier this month.
Authorities believe officers Ramos and Liu were targeted by the gunman, 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley, in retaliation for Garner's death and that of Ferguson, Mo. teen Michael Brown.
Also Monday, Pei Xia Chen, Officer Liu's widow, made her first public statement since her husband's death, in which she thanked the city for its support.
"This is a difficult time for both our families," Chen said, referring to the Ramos family as well as her own. "We will stand together and get through this together."
A funeral ceremony for Officer Ramos has been scheduled for Saturday. Arrangements for Liu's funeral are on hold pending the arrival of relatives from China.