Lazette Cherry, mother of Jamar Pinkney Jr., wipes tears as family members sit beside her during today’s funeral services for her son at Second Ebenezer Church in Detroit. (ANDRE J. JACKSON/Detroit Free Press)
BY TAMMY STABLES BATTAGLIA AND L.L. BRASIER
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITERS
A mother’s wails rang out Monday at Second Ebenezer Church in Detroit as she mourned the loss of her 15-year-old son, who police say was shot execution-style by his father as the naked youth begged for his life in a vacant Highland Park lot.
Pictures of a smiling Jamar Pinkney Jr. flashed on two movie screens in front of the church during his funeral today, a week after police say the boy’s father shot him in the head as he begged for his life in a vacant corner lot next to his Highland Park home.
Jamar Pinkney Sr. is being held in the Wayne County Jail without bond, charged with first-degree murder in the Nov. 16 shooting. If convicted, he faces life in prison without parole. He is accused of shooting his son after hearing the boy may have molested a half-sister, age 3.
“We are not going to lose another child to violence if we all stand up!” Second Ebenezer Bishop Edgar Vann yelled to the mourners. “Our kids need help! Our kids need loving, caring adults! Our kids need good teachers! Our kids need good principals! Our kids need good role models!”
Tuesday Sanderfield, 38, of Detroit, who’s known Jamar’s family for 25 years, agreed with the message she heard with nearly 1,600 other mourners who packed the church.
“Everybody needs to come together,” she said. “It’s hard out here, but you don’t have to go to violence. Violence is not the answer.”
Representative John Conyers said he’ll talk about the violent murder when he meets with President Barack Obama on Tuesday. And he vowed to meet with leaders of churches in the area to address the problem of violence when he returns to metro Detroit.
“It’s always incredible to me that we’re always waiting for God,” he said. “If God gave you this opportunity, it’s our responsibility to turn this tragedy into something meaningful not only for Detroit but the United States of America. This violence is going on in every state and every city in America. And that’s what I’m going to say to the 44th president tomorrow.”
Lazette Cherry, Jamar’s mother, during the funeral services (ANDRE J. JACKSON/Detroit Free Press)
Cadets from the Martin Luther Jr. High Army Jr. ROTC unit, stand at parade rest during funeral services for Jamar Pinkney Jr. held at Second Ebenezer Church Detroit, Monday, November 23, 2009. (ANDRE J. JACKSON/Detroit Free Press)