Tuesday, March 30, 1999

Man shot by police 'didn't die in vain'

Family members speak at funeral

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The Rev. Fred Carpenter wiped away tears, moved his black leather-bound Bible from his left leg and walked to the podium to deliver an emotional eulogy for his son.

        Standing a few feet from Michael Carpenter's partially open gray casket, the Rev. Mr. Carpenter told more than 100 mourners Monday night, “I know everything is going to be all right. I know that my son didn't die in vain.”

        Michael Carpenter, 30, was shot to death early March 19 during a confrontation with two Cincinnati Police officers, Brent McCurley and Michael B. Miller II, after a traffic stop in Northside.

        Following his stirring ad dress during the funeral service at Joseph R. Garr Funeral Home, West End, the Rev. Mr. Carpenter walked over to his wife, Elsie, and told her,

        “Be strong. Get up and say something.”

        When Mrs. Carpenter took the microphone, the mourners stood, too, and gave her a long ovation.

        “I was proud of my son ... regardless of what the media say,” Mrs. Carpenter said. (Mrs. Carpenter was referring to reports of her son's criminal past, including two assaults on police officers.)

        Earlier, Michael's cousin, Darlissa Scott, was among a handful of people who addressed the group.

        “They took Mike away from us,” she said. “But they can't take away the trust, the love, the joy that (he) brought into each life — though at times, his was riddled with misery, mistakes and strife.

        “I want to remember him as that little boy who was filled with hopes and dreams of who he wanted to be, what he want ed to do.”

        On the program for the service, Mr. Carpenter's photograph stared out. Inside the program were these words: “His goal was to become a barber. He loved cutting hair and was good at it.”

        In the two hours of visitation prior to the service, city leaders, members of the Nation of Islam, clergy, friends and a representative of Mothers of Murdered Sons and Daughters paid their respects to the family.

        Outside the funeral home, a man carried a sign with a message ridiculing police over the shooting.

        Meanwhile, the police division's homicide and internal investigation units and the city's independent Office of Municipal Investigations (OMI) are conducting reviews of the shooting.


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