As the sweltering July heat baked the streets of Bed-Stuy Monday morning, mourners dressed in black and white filed out of Pleasant Grove Baptist behind the three-foot-long, cartoon-covered casket of one-year-old Davell Gardner, Jr, who was shot and killed in Brooklyn on July 12. The procession, led by Rev. Al Sharpton, spilled onto Fulton Street with a visible weariness; the weariness of a community wracked by death, facing another loss so horrific it is difficult to even comprehend.
Outside of the church, Gwen Carr, Eric Garner’s mother, embraced Gardner’s grandmother. Rev. Sharpton held his hand firmly on the shoulder of Davell Gardner, Sr., the baby’s father. And Bishop Albert L. Jamison and Kenya Brown, both of whom, during the service, had spoken of losing their own sons, stood next to the Gardner family, protecting them from the crowd. As police stood by, the group stepped into hearses and limousines and drove to the Evergreens Cemetery where they put another young body into the ground.