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Jackson, Mississippi, USA skyline over the Capitol Building

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty

Civil Rights lawyer Ben Crump has announced that his team will help arrange the funeral for Dexter Wade, a Black man who was run over by an off-duty police officer and then later buried without the family’s knowledge. 

On Monday during a press conference, Crump called for a Department of Justice investigation into the death of Dexter Wade after announcing that he would make sure Wade is given “a proper funeral where his family and loved ones and his two little children and all the community can come out and give him a respectable homegoing service — one that apparently Jackson Police Department didn’t intend for him to have.”

According to NBC News, Bettersten Wade, the mother of Dexter Wade, last saw her son on March 5. A week later, she reported him missing to the Jackson police and then followed up for months. She called missing persons investigators seeking information on numerous occasions, posted appeals on Facebook, searched abandoned houses and asked neighbors for help.

On Aug. 24 a Jackson accident investigator told Bettersten Wade about her son’s death, more than six months after she reported him missing the first time. The accident investigator told her Wade had died the night he left home, struck by a police cruiser while crossing a nearby highway, which was later confirmed by the Hinds County coroner’s office.

According to NBC News, Bettersten Wade and Ben Crump have accused the Jackson Police Department of having a vendetta against her family because of a 2019 case where Bettersten Wade’s 62-year-old brother died after a Jackson officer slammed him to the ground. The officer involved was convicted of manslaughter, but is appealing the verdict. 

“It just doesn’t pass the smell test,” Crump said. “That’s why people all over America are talking about what happened to Dexter Wade in Jackson, Mississippi. We are asking for the Department of Justice to investigate this matter because the family does not have trust in the Mississippi officials. Would you after this happened to your brother and child?”

According to reports, the Department of Justice has said they are aware of the incident but did not comment further.

“Our thoughts and prayers remain with Dexter Wade’s family, but the city cannot say anything more because the family is working with lawyers,” a city spokesperson told NBC News.

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