BALTIMORE (AP) — Mourners filed for hours Sunday past the coffin of the man who died after sustaining serious injuries in the custody of Baltimore police, somberly paying respects after a night of violent protests.
All afternoon, a steady stream of people entered the funeral home for a wake for Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old black man who died a week after an encounter with police left him with grave spinal injuries.
Mourners passed by 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 lid to the coffin 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.
Mourners also gathered outside the funeral home, Vaughn Green East. Some held up signs that read, “We remember Freddie” and “Our Hearts Are With The Gray Family.”
Melissa McDonald, 36, who said she was Gray's cousin, wore a shirt with “Freddie Forever” printed on the back. She described her cousin as a nonviolent person.
“He didn't deserve to die the way he did,” she said.
Several mourners like Tina Covington, 46, said they didn't know the family but came to express their condolences. Covington said she has a son near Gray's age.
“It hits home. It really does. It's a reality check,” said Covington, whose son is 27.
Covington said that “there is something going on in the police department that needs to change.”
Gray's funeral is planned for Monday.
At a church service earlier Sunday, Pastor Jamal Bryant told churchgoers, including members of Gray's family, at Empowerment Temple AME Church that “somebody is going to have to pay” for Gray's death.
Bryant told churchgoers that if ...read more