Monday night, hundreds of people, most of them strangers, came to Shiloh Temple in North Minneapolis to say good-bye to a 4-year-old boy they had never even met. And the grandfather of the boy, Demond Reed, couldn't thank those strangers enough.
"To whoever doesn't know him, they got my sincere thank you," Demond's Grandfather, Tony Ishmon said.
Demond didn't live in Minneapolis. His home was in Chicago but he was in town to see his father when his cousin, 37-year-old Carla Poole, was asked to take care of him. In a matter of weeks Demond was found dead in Poole's home, beaten to death. Carla Poole is in jail tonight charged with his murder.
"Just don't seem real to me, just don't seem real, my baby lying in a casket he is 4 years old," Ismon said.
Strangers came to Shiloh Temple to say goodbye.
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak spoke to the crowd.
"A horrible brutal unspeakable act has happened in our community," Rybak said.
The community responded in tearful goodbyes and in a Congressman's plea for peace.
"For the sake of Demond, please be kind to the children," a tearful U.S. Congressman Keith Ellison said.
"Take a moment with the children. Don't talk harsh to the children. Don't raise your hands to them," Ellison said.
The service was a moment for Demond's family, many came, to see Minneapolis gather around them in empathy and in sympathy.
Another service will be held for Demond in his home town of Chicago on Wednesday. He will laid to rest there.
(Copyright 2008 by KARE11. All Rights Reserved.)