SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — More than 1,000 family members and supporters gathered in Georgia on Saturday to say farewell to Troy Davis.
The funeral at Jonesville Baptist Church in Savannah opened with a slideshow of photos of Davis in his blue-trimmed prison uniform with his mother, sister and other family members.
The service, which lasted three and a half hours, included speakers calling for the death penalty to be abolished.
“Troy’s last words that night were he told us to keep fighting until his name is cleared in Georgia,” said Benjamin Jealous, head of the NAACP. “But most important, keep fighting until the death penalty is abolished and this can never be done to anyone else.”
The 42-year-old Davis was executed Sept. 21 for the 1989 slaying of Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail.
The Saturday funeral was also attended by Larry Cox, executive director of Amnesty International, and comedian and activist Dick Gregory.
Davis’ 17-year-old nephew, DeJaun Davis-Correia said his uncle, who spent hours helping him with homework over the phone, would want his loved ones to stay upbeat.
“You really shouldn’t be sad all the time, you should be happy and be positive. That’s the attitude my uncle instilled in me,” he said.
Blue and white roses were placed on the casket because of Davis’ love for the Dallas Cowboys.
The Rev. Raphael Warnock, pastor at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. preached, delivered the eulogy.
“I did not come here all the way from Atlanta to tell you this is God’s will,” said Warnock, who served as a spiritual adviser to Davis on death row. “God’s will is not revealed in this tragedy.”
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.