Wade’s funeral was held at New Horizon Church International in Jackson. More than 200 people, including U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, attended the funeral. The service took place the day before what would have been Wade’s 38th birthday.
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump and Sharpton, founder and president of the National Action Network, each placed an arm around Bettersten Wade as she stood before her son’s flower-covered casket under a large cross in the sanctuary.
Sharpton, who is based in New York, said he traveled to Jackson to deliver the eulogy because he wanted to give words of comfort to Wade’s family and “words of discomfort to the state of Mississippi,” including to the city of Jackson and its police department.
“What happened to Dexter was a disgrace, a national outrage, and should be treated as such,” Sharpton said.
On November 16, Crump released the initial findings of Wade‘s independent autopsy.
Officials said the 37-year-old had been hit by a Jackson police cruiser in March and later buried in a pauper’s field in Hinds County. Bettersten Wade said she did not know that he was deceased until August 24.
According to information provided to Crump by Pathologist Dr. Frank Peretti, Wade’s body had not been embalmed and was in an advanced state of decomposition.
Peretti reported Wade’s body had multiple blunt force injuries to the skull, ribs, and pelvis. His left leg was amputated, and his body had been run over by a vehicle.
Crump said there was a wallet in the front pocket of Wade’s jeans that contained his state identification card with is home address, his credit card and a health insurance card.
The attorney said a full autopsy report is expected soon.
Sharpton said Monday that he had been told that the officer who struck and killed Wade was Black.
“I don’t care if he’s Black or white — what he did was wrong,” Sharpton said.
An investigator from the Hinds County coroner’s office responded to the accident scene but did not find any identification while examining Wade’s body, NBC News reported. The coroner did find a bottle of prescription medication in his pocket with his name on it.
The Hinds County coroner’s office said it called a number listed for Bettersten Wade but did not hear back. She said she never received the call. The coroner’s office also told Jackson police multiple times to contact her, Crump said. City officials have said the communication breakdown was an accident.
According to Crump, an investigator from the coroner’s office identified Dexter using fingerprints and reportedly turned it over to Jackson police to do the proper death notification on March 9. However, Wade said she did not receive any answers from authorities until August.
Wade’s body was exhumed from the pauper’s field in Hinds County on Monday, November 13, hours before his family arrived at the location.
Sharpton and Crump have both called on the Justice Department to investigate the Jackson Police Department (JPD). On Tuesday, Sharpton sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to request an investigation into JPD’s actions.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.