While widow Esaw Garner worries about how to feed her six children, supporters are scrambling to scrape together money to help her and her family. A GoFundMe page, Support For Esaw Garner, set up by the Charlotte Activists Collective, has raised just over $7,000; another page, an IndieGogo fund named "Fund for the children of Eric Garner" which says it's been set up by Garner's kids, has pulled in just over $5,000. And a Fundly page called "The Eric Garner Family Support Fund" has raised a whopping $25,000. Altogether, that's a lot — but far less than the staggering half a million dollars raised by Darren Wilson supporters.
According to the New York Daily News, a family of four needs an income of $93,500 a year just “to scrape by.” That means that the Garner family, now compromised of 6 children and a single mother, will need $163,625 to make it through the year, ignoring the additional cost of memorial services and the upcoming holiday. As Esaw said in a Wednesday news conference, she did not accept Officer Daniel Pantaleo’s apology:
I can care less about his condolences. He’s still working, still getting a paycheck, still feeding his kids when my husband is six feet under, and I’m looking for a way to feed my kids now.
The Charlotte Activists Collective started the GoFundMe page for Esaw Garner to support Esaw and her family. However, the fundraiser has only met a fraction of its $1 million goal. Meanwhile, the GoFundMe page, Support for Esaw Garner, went live on December 4, shortly after the announcement that not to Daniel Pantaleo would not be indicted. The site reads:
Eric Garner was one in many unjustly killed by police this year. He left behind a wife and kids. While this family mourns this loss, the NYPD officer walks free. Despite the fact that there is a video of the officer using an illegal chokehold, and that the city's medical examiners ruled it a homicide.Show your support for the family, share this, and donate what you can. We need this to be big enough to get it to Esaw Garner.#EricGarner#ThisStopsToday
The low funding could be partially explained by racially sensitive donors’ reluctance to use GoFundMe; after the initial Ferguson protests this summer, GoFundMe refused to pull fundraisers supporting Darren Wilson. Wilson, the Ferguson police officer involved in the shooting death of Michael Brown, has probably received enough money to retire.
This Fundly page's goal and money raised thus far are modest considering cost of living in New York City, and paltry compared to the more than $500,000 raised by Darren Wilson supporters. No public fundraisers have been established to support David Pantaleo, the officer involved in the choking death of Eric Garner, or the NYPD. (With a spending forecast set at over $5 billion for 2015, they probably don’t need it.)
Image: GoFundMe/screenshot, Fundly.com/Screenshot, GoFundMe