Dexter Wade died in March but his family didn't know what happened until August
The mother of a Mississippi man who was run over and killed by an off-duty police officer and buried in an unmarked grave alleged that officials covered up her son’s death in an interview with ABC News.
Dexter Wade, 37, was struck by a Jackson Police Department vehicle driven by an off-duty officer on March 5 while walking near Interstate 55 and McDowell Road. On March 14, his mother reported him missing, but she reportedly did not find out until late August that he had been killed, according to WLBT and WAPT, as well as NBC News.
In comments made in October, Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba had said the six-month delay was a result of a miscommunication.
Wade's mother Bettersten Wade told ABC, "Right now I'm hoping I can get to some kind of answer as to why it happened and what was the reason that it happened. But right now I'm still not satisfied."
She added, "It's a steady cover-up.”
Bettersten Wade had sought a reburial for her son so she can give him a proper funeral, ABC News reports, but she told the outlet that Wade’s body was exhumed hours before an agreed-upon time, when the family was supposed to be present.
"I couldn't even see him come out the ground,” Bettersten Wade said in the interview. “Y’all didn't give me the time to see him before he took his last breath. I didn't get to see him come from the ground. Cover up.”
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump told reporters Monday that the family had agreed with Hinds County to be present at 11:30 a.m. for the exhumation, but that the body was exhumed at 8 a.m. instead.
County administrator Kenny Wayne Jones told WAPT that the early exhumation was "very unfortunate," but denied a cover-up, chalking it up to a miscommunication.
In another statement, reported by NBC News, Crump also said an independent pathologist who examined Wade’s body found his wallet and state identification card in the front pocket of Wade’s jeans, despite county officials previously saying no identification was found other than a bottle of pills with Wade’s name on it.
“If they had a wallet and knew where his address was, why didn’t they just visit his address when he was laying out on the freeway and come get me so I could have seen my son?" Bettersten Wade said in a statement reported by NBC News.
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