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.
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.”
- This Stops Today: Eric Garner’s Mother Seeks Justice after Losing Her Son. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (2018). ISBN 1538109808
- “Four Years Ago The NYPD Killed My Son. I’m Still Waiting For Justice.”. BuzzFeed News. 12 October 2018.
- “I Am Eric Garner’s Mother. No Justice for George Floyd Unless All Four Police Are Charged—and Convicted”. Newsweek. 1 June 2020.