Thousands of Supporters to Attend Freddie Gray’s Funeral
Thousands of people are expected to attend funeral of a man on Monday who died due to severe spinal injuries while he was in Baltimore police custody.
The funeral services for Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old black man who died on April 19 were planned for 11 a.m. EDT Monday.
Gray died after several days of encounter with police, which left him with serious spinal injuries.
Pastor Jamal Bryant, who was to deliver Gray’s eulogy, said he expects that the Baltimore’s New Shiloh Baptist Church to probably be filled for the service.
In Washington, the White House said the head of President Barack Obama’s initiative for young men of color would attend the service. Also Broderick Johnson, chairman of the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force and a Baltimore native, will join the service along with two other administration officials.
Several mourners who didn’t even know Gray were present on Sunday afternoon. Some supporters stood outside the Vaughn Green East funeral home holding signs that read ‘We Remember Freddie’ and ‘Our Hearts Are with the Gray Family’
Between the mourners passed Gray’s silk-draped, white coffin where he lay dressed in a white shirt, black pants, white sneakers and an all-white Los Angeles Dodgers baseball cap.
Above the coffins lid was a floral arrangement and inside the lid was a pillow with a screen-printed picture of Gray flanked by doves and the quote ‘Peace, Y’all’ at the bottom edge.
Melissa McDonald, 36, who said she was Gray’s cousin, wore a shirt with ‘Freddie forever’ printed on the back. She said her cousin was a nonviolent person and he didn’t deserve to die the way he did.
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said, “At the end of the day, we are one Baltimore. We need to support peaceful demonstration and continue to enforce in our communities that rioting, violence, and looting will not be tolerated in our city”.
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