A funeral is set to take place for a Black man killed in March by a Mississippi police officer and secretly buried without notifying his family.
Dexter Wade, 37, died after an off-duty officer ran over him more than eight months ago. Hinds County then took it upon itself to bury him without notifying his family, who only found out last month about the death that was kept secret.
Wade’s mother, Bettersten Wade Robinson, last saw her son on March 5. Upon learning of the secret burial, Hinds County officials reneged on a previously agreed-upon time for Wade’s body to be exhumed. Preliminary autopsy results from a pathologist independently hired by Wade’s family found that his body was carelessly mishandled by officials, including not being embalmed and an amputated left leg. Perhaps most egregious, Wade was buried in pants that contained his wallet with identifying documents, including an ID card with his home address.
“The tragic news we received from the independent pathologist today was heartbreaking for everyone who knew and cared for Dexter Wade, especially his mother. The fact that Dexter had a state identification card and several other identifying items shows us that there was a concerted effort to keep the truth and manner of his death from his family. There is no excuse, not even incompetence, for not notifying a next of kin of an identified man’s death,” civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who represents Wade’s family, said in a statement.
Wade’s mother said the county has lied to her about her son twice.
“They put him in the ground without my permission. They dug him up without my permission — I want that to be known,” Bettersten Wade Robinson said during a press conference.
It was in that context that Wade’s funeral plans were being announced.
The Rev. Al Sharpton, who on Thursday officially announced Wade’s funeral, said in a press release emailed to NewsOne that he was scheduled to deliver the eulogy.
Crump was tapped to deliver a call to action and demands for justice at the funeral.
The homegoing services have been scheduled to take place in Mississippi’s capital city of Jackson at the New Horizon Church International on Monday, Nov. 20, at 11 a.m. CST or noon EST.
The funeral is set to be livestreamed from the New Horizon Church International. Those wishing to pay their respects online can click here on Monday to watch Wade’s funeral.
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