D.C. cops looked pretty intimidating at the funeral of Jamal Coates this afternoon. Out in force, they glared as crowds of mourners hung out around the King Emmanuel Baptist Church in Adams Morgan, and the nearby Ontario Coin Laundromat. Just last week, the gang violence that left Coates shot dead erupted after a funeral on U Street.
At one point, two cops in flak jackets followed one group of mourners down Ontario Street NW.
As for the funeral that went on inside, reporters were asked not to attend. ANC Commissioner Bryan Weaver, who did attend, says everything went well: “Considering, I thought it was pretty upbeat.” He says the funeral focused on the life of the 21-year-old Coates, and how to help young men like him. Coates was at times affiliated with a gang.
According to a police source, Coates was shot in connection to a longstanding beef between the 1-7 crew (based near 17th and Euclid NW) and the G-Rod crew (from 14th and Girard NW). And the murder allegedly took place after a member of G-Rod was insulted. (Police have arrested Brandon Miller in connection with the shooting.)
At times, Coates tried to turn his life around, but didn’t manage to get far enough away from neighborhood influences to make the change stick. Weaver says the Rev. Daryl F. Bell, who spoke at Coates’ funeral, put it best: “If you hang out at the hot dog stand, you’re most likely going to eat a hot dog.”