Jesse Clarke was laid to rest surrounded by family and friends dressed in his favourite colours. To his girlfriend, Miranda, he was the kind of guy who would make a day like this more bearable.“He could make you laugh during the hardest times. he could probably make me laugh right now,” says Gibbons.Hundreds gathered to honour him, many of them spilling down the walkway of an already packed funeral home.At the request of Jesse’s dad, the pastor, a former gang member himself, urged everyone to let go of the violence that took his son’s life.“I want to challenge every single person in this room to live better than you’ve ever lived before. not just for Jesse, but for the good of your own lives,” said pastor Ace Clarke.His words were echoed throughout the day in hopes Jesse’s death will be a lasting lesson.“Let the police do what they’re going to do and let justice take its place, says Melissa Mercuri, a family friend. “Not another life needs to be gone.”Too emotional to speak at the funeral, his parents said a final goodbye to their son with a drum circle. Dozens of his friends and classmates also marched to the park where he loved to skateboard. “Everybody misses him and it’s unbelievable how people can do this for one person,” said Gibbons.“It’s definitely touching to see them all put their differences aside, whether they were on one side or the other and come together just for jesse today,” says Mercuri.
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