Funeral Fight

By: Jessica Ralston
By: Jessica Ralston

The funeral of a murdered teenager was supposed to be a time for friends and family to pay their last respects. instead - violence erupted: bringing the services for Hakeem Brown to a bitter end. Brown was shot and killed on Monday on in the East End of Charleston. No one has been arrested, and since his murder, tension in the community has been high. Just one day after the community came together to try to stop the violence.

On Thursday one of the radio stations held a fundraiser to help pay for Hakeem's funeral. Many people were coming together to show teens here in Charleston violence is not the answer. But on Friday during Hakeem's funeral, once again tempers flared and it didn't take long to lose control.

Tears are expected at a funeral, but fists flying are not! In the middle of what was supposed to be a day to honor the life of Hakeem Brown there was violence in the church that quickly spread to the streets.

Tessie Jackson is Hakeem’s cousin, she said “one of the guys that has shot my cousin showed up and they all started fighting and then the police came in and broke it up and it just got out of hand from there".

One man pleaded with the crowd to move on but the chaos continued for at least an hour. Instead of paying last respects a huge display of disrespect, one that family members say ruined their final goodbye.

The anger wasn't focused just on one person; it was aimed at the media and the police.

Patricia Copening says "Y'all want to categorize us as dope dealers, doing guns, doing this, all of us ain't doing it". Ironic: because police say what this crowd of kids did during Hakeem Brown's funeral s in a category of it's own.

There was a lot of finger pointing today especially toward the police. Hakeem's friends were saying if this was a white teenager that was murdered an arrest would have already been made. We reported earlier this week: that police weren't getting, the cooperation they needed. Police said a lot of people turned their backs -- choosing not to provide information that could lead to an arrest.


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