#GSWDS2020

Gwen Carr

Activist/Eric Garner's Mother

Gwen Carr

Activist/Eric Garner's Mother

Biography

Gwen Carr (born 1949) is an American activist, public speaker and author. Carr’s son, Eric Garner, was killed by a New York Police Department officer who used an illegal chokehold to arrest Garner. Since her son’s death, Carr has become active in police reform in the United States, including as a member of Mothers of the Movement and a voice in the Black Lives Matter movement.

Before becoming an activist, Carr worked for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority as a train operator. She retired in 2015 to devote her work to the civil rights movement. Carr often makes appearances with Al Sharpton and National Action Network at protests and rallies opposing police brutality and supporting Black Lives Matter.

Carr is a critic of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who in 2016 opposed a bill that would have banned police officers from using chokeholds. Carr did not vote for de Blasio in the 2017 election. She endorsed Hillary Clinton in her 2016 run for President.

In September 2019, Carr testified in front of the House Judiciary Committee about police brutality, alongside James Blake and Al Sharpton.

After the videotaped death of George Floyd, choked by Minneapolis police in May 2020, Carr immediately contacted and consoled Floyd’s family. Just like her son, Floyd’s last words were also “I can’t breathe.” After her first conversation with the Floyd family, she told them: “Don’t forget. You cannot let this go.”

Carr spoke at protests in Queens, New York and Staten Island, followed by attending Floyd’s memorial service in Minneapolis and Floyd’s funeral in Houston

All sessions by Gwen Carr