Mourners from across the country attend funeral of slain Houma 2-year-old Ezekiel Harry
THIBODAUX, La. (WVUE) - Love was on display at the funeral of 2-year-old Ezekiel Harry, with mourners from across the country congregating to pay their respects to the slain Houma toddler, and rally behind his hurting family in its time of need.
As Harry’s family gathered inside Moses Baptist Church to say their goodbyes to the little boy, hundreds of motorcycle riders amassed outside the church in a show of solidarity. Nearly 300 motorcycles were lined up on the street outside the church.
“Where else would you see this but in South Louisiana?” asked Ronnie Winston, donning a shirt emblazoned with the words “Ezekiel’s Law.”
“You got people from all over the country. Some of these bikes came from way up north. Even though none of these people knew this child, they loved this child. They came down here to show that love.”
The child, known as “Zeke” to family and friends, was killed, and his remains found July 12 stuffed in a duffel bag and dumped in a Houma trash can. His mother Maya Jones and her live-in boyfriend Jermaine Robinson are accused of first-degree murder and obstruction of justice in connection with the boy’s death.
The crime sent shockwaves through the community.
“I really couldn’t believe it,” said Cedric Henry, who rode his motorcycle from New Orleans. “In this day and time, it’s not shocking. But it’s heartbreaking to actually hear something like that. We’re not gangs, we’re motorcycle clubs. We got kids, grandkids and stuff like that ourselves. When it happened, it (touched) everybody, as you can see. No matter what your race is or whatever, it’s gut-wrenching to actually see a kid get thrown away in the garbage.
“This is extremely powerful. You know, I’ve been to a few services and stuff like that, (but) nothing ever as big as this.”
Even the organizers seemed taken aback by the size of the crowd.
“I never expected all these bikes. I was looking at maybe 20, 40 at the most. But this is an awesome turnout. This is amazing,” said Jessica Trosclair. “I just never thought there would be this many.”
Ezekiel Harry’s three siblings are in the care of his grandmother Cynthia and father Trey Harry. On top of Saturday’s funeral, they also must prepare the other three children for the upcoming school year.
Numerous community fundraisers have been held to support the family in its time of need. Saturday’s turnout was just the latest example of how the community is stepping up for a little boy and his family.
“Little boy liked motor bikes, so guess what he’s gonna get? He’s gonna get sent off by a whole lot of motor bikes,” Winston said.
As officials piece together what happened, state legislators already are pondering what can be done to improve child protective services in Louisiana.
State Senator “Big Mike” Fesi, who represents the area, said he’s still gathering information but would like to put forward a bill dealing with some of the issues regarding how the state handles reports of child abuse.
Fesi said he would call the bill “Ezekiel’s Law.”
“I think some investigation (is needed) on what procedures were followed, what procedures they had in place that wasn’t followed,” Winston said. “Are all those procedures that you have in place inadequate?”
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