3 more funerals for Buffalo victims in farewell week – Daily Freeman
By CAROLYN THOMPSON and AARON MORRISON
BUFFALO, NY (AP) — A mother and sister known for baking decadent pastries. A restaurateur buying his 3-year-old son’s birthday cake. A father and die-hard Buffalo Bills fan who worked as a school bus helper.
These three victims of the racist attack on a Buffalo supermarket were laid to rest on Friday in a week filled with goodbyes for family and friends.
Geraldine Talley, 62, of Buffalo; Andre Mackniel, 53, of Auburn; and Margus Morrison, 52, of Buffalo, were among 10 people killed and three injured when a white gunman opened fire on afternoon shoppers and workers at a Tops Friendly Market on May 14. Authorities said he chose the grocery store because it is mostly in a black neighborhood.
“We cannot sit here today and mourn for Geraldine and not make sure justice is served for Geraldine,” the Reverend Al Sharpton, a prominent civil rights activist, told mourners at Talley’s service. at Mount Aaron Missionary Baptist Church.
He and Talley’s son, Mark Talley, spoke out against the lack of investment in the eastern neighborhood which, with only one supermarket, made someone who intended to kill black people an easy target .
And they condemned the easy access to the type of semi-automatic rifles used by the suspected 18-year-old Buffalo shooter and then the 18-year-old accused of killing 19 students and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde , in Texas. 10 days later.
Shortly after his mother’s death, Mark Talley said, he predicted such attacks would continue. “It’s like Groundhog Day. We have seen this time and time again,” he said at the time.
“There’s no point…you keeping an AR-15 under your bed at home,” Talley said at his mother’s funeral. “No point for you needing an AR-15 to protect your family.”
Vice President Kamala Harris is expected to attend the final funeral of the supermarket victims on Saturday as Ruth Whitfield, 86, is memorialized. President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden traveled to Buffalo to visit families and lay flowers at a memorial on May 17.
Talley’s friends and family said she was an expert baker who treated them to apple crisps, cakes and pastries. She was with her fiancé, Gregory Allen, at Tops when filming began. Allen was in a different aisle and got to safety.
Mackniel, father and grandfather, was collecting a birthday cake for his young son when he was killed. He was a cook and stay-at-home dad to his son, according to his obituary.
“He loved basketball, playing guitar, writing poems, listening to music, but most of all Andre was a very family-oriented man,” he said.
“Andre was a very educated person, he was kind and he loved his family,” his cousin Franchione Cook said outside Buffalo’s Antioch Baptist Church after Mackniel’s funeral. “It’s just sad, that’s how it is. It’s happened to the best, and I also feel bad for the people who lived through their tragedy in Texas. It’s a sad thing that happens in America.
Mourners remembered Morrison as a music lover, Bills fan, and prankster.
“His smile was still there,” Pastor Darius Pridgen said during a funeral at True Bethel Baptist Church in Buffalo. Pridgen, the president of the Buffalo Common Council, praised Morrison.
“Even when his jokes weren’t funny, he kept joking,” said Pridgen, who realized he knew the man because they each met at the Tops Friendly Market.
“That was what Margus meant. Even in grief, you have to find some time to be okay,” he said.
Morrison, a father of seven, has been a bus aide at Buffalo Public Schools since 2019. On the Saturday of the supermarket shooting, he was buying dinner and snacks for movie night, his family said.
Pridgen told mourners that the attack on the supermarket by an avowed white supremacist should serve as a reminder that racism must be confronted and defeated.
“There are still those who are giant white supremacists, and they are in our banks, in our schools, in our churches, in the White House, in the Statehouse and in city hall,” he said.
The funeral took place on the birthday of Theresa Morrison, mother of Margus, who turned 72. Margus’ daughter, Ramariana Morrison, turned 16 on Friday.
Sharpton also paid tribute to Margus and her family. Prominent civil rights lawyer Ben Crump attended the service and during his brief remarks pledged to fight for justice on behalf of Margus and other slain black shoppers.
The funerals of store security guard Aaron Salter, 55, of Lockport, and Pearl Young, 77, of Buffalo, were held on Wednesday. In previous days, Roberta Drury, 32, Katherine Massey, 72, Heyward Patterson, 67, and Celestine Chaney, 65, were also buried.
Buffalo shooting suspect Payton Gendron has been charged with first degree murder and is being held without bond. His attorney, in his first court appearance, pleaded not guilty.
Morrison reported from New York.