The Rev. Al Sharpton delivered a passionate eulogy Monday for Dexter Wade, a 37-year-old black man who was run over by an off-duty police officer in Jackson, Mississippi, and buried in a potter’s field without his knowledge from his family.
“What happened to Dexter is a disgrace, a national scandal and should be treated as such,” Sharpton told New Horizon Church International. “It’s time for the Mayor and City Council to stand up for Dexter. How do you explain that a young man ends up buried? The autopsy revealed he had identification in his front pocket. He had his driver’s license, but you couldn’t find his mother? Couldn’t find a loved one? Did you leave him in the morgue and bury him?
Sharpton said he plans to stay involved until the prosecution of everyone involved in Wade’s death is complete, adding that it could have been his own son who had to face Wade’s fate.
“Her life mattered to her mother, to her daughters, and we’re going to make her matter throughout this county.”
Wade was fatally struck March 5 by an off-duty officer in a Jackson police vehicle.
Although Bettersten Wade, Dexter Wade’s mother, reported her son missing to investigators a week after his death and an independent autopsy last week found Wade had a mugshot with his address in his jeans When he was fatally struck, Wade’s family was not informed. his death until August.
By then, Wade had already been buried in a field near the Hinds County Penal Farm.
Sharpton said the family is now being told it was a black officer who ran Wade over, but he stressed that didn’t matter and compared Wade’s death to that of Tire Nichols, a black man who died after being brutally beaten by five black police officers. officers in Memphis, Tennessee.
“I don’t care if he’s black or white,” Sharpton said. “What he did was wrong and they must be called to account.” In fact, I’m even more offended that he’s black because you wouldn’t have done that to a young white man. In Mississippi you know it’s better to beat a young white man and go ahead and bury him in a potter’s field. You’re going to learn that you can’t do that to this black man.
After Wade’s body was exhumed last week, civil rights attorney Ben Crump released the preliminary results of an independent autopsy.
The report reveals that Wade’s body was completely crushed by a police vehicle, that he suffered multiple blunt force injuries to his skull, ribs and pelvis, and that his left leg was amputated. He was also not properly embalmed, so his body was badly decomposed.
Crump, who represents Wade’s family, issued a call for action after Monday’s funeral.
“It’s about trying to find out the truth,” he said. “With transparency and truth, we can achieve accountability and justice in Mississippi. »
While Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said last month that the time it took for Wade’s family to be notified “was an unfortunate and tragic accident,” Crump and Sharpton both called the department of Justice to investigate the Jackson police. Sharpton sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland last week formally requesting an investigation into the police department’s actions.
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