A horse-drawn hearse led a column of black limousines through Resthaven Gardens of Memory. In the mid-summer heat, mourners lined the cemetery’s narrow lane. Many raised cellphones to record the gleaming white hearse, where Oliver Campbell Jr. lay inside a polished casket the color of a gun barrel.
“Bring my brah in style, man,” a bystander said, marveling at the grand procession. “Rest in peace, Poopoo.”
“Everybody loved Poopoo,” says Campbell’s mother, Vernicia. She gave her son the nickname when he was a toddler, and it stuck. Now it’s an early afternoon nearly three months after she buried her only child, and she speaks in a voice so low and raspy from grief it’s almost unintelligible at times. Her husband is attending services for a friend’s son, another young murder victim. She can’t bear to go.
“I’ve been to enough funerals,” she says.