Almost two weeks after a rookie police officer fatally shot 36-year-old DeCarlos Moore in Overtown, his family is preparing to lay him to rest. Services will be held this weekend.
The public viewing will take place on Friday, July 16 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Wright & Young Funeral Home in Miami. The funeral will be on Saturday, July 17 at noon at Liberty City’s Friendship Missionary Baptist Church.
The family gathered Thursday, July 15 for a private viewing. Those who knew him best describe Moore as full of love and laughter. Despite his criminal history, including serving 14 years behind bars for second-degree murder, family members told the South Florida Times that Moore was really a great guy.
“He was very caring, very considerate and he loved his family. He always smiled and laughed and enjoyed being around for family gatherings. If his mother or family needed anything, he was always there. Actually anything that he could do to help you, he would regardless of who you were,” said Charles Jackson, a cousin.
Jackson said his cousin was different from the person being portrayed in the media.
“He got out of prison in 2007 and from what I know, he was doing well. I’ve never really known him to be a violent person. I even heard that he recently rededicated his life to serving Jesus Christ. Everything they talked about in the media, I don’t know that guy,” Jackson said.
34-year-old Yachica Moore said DeCarlos was her favorite cousin. She said the two grew up together in Liberty City.
“Enough is enough. I’m tired of the media giving out the wrong information and misreporting facts about my cousin. He would’ve helped anybody. We grew up together. He was the brother I never had,” Yachica told the South Florida Times.
Moore was killed on Monday, July 5 by rookie police officer Joseph Marin during a midday traffic stop.
According to sources, Marin was with training officer Viona Browne when they mistakenly identified Moore’s car as stolen. The officers ordered Moore out of the car and asked him to come toward them. Moore reportedly obeyed, then turned around and hurried back to the car to reach inside for something.
After Moore emerged from the car with what was later determined to be sunglasses in his hands, Marin fired, shooting Moore in the head. Sources say no weapon was found in Moore's car.
According to Yachica, the reported version of events that led to Moore’s death differs from what she has heard on the streets.
“I keep reading this stuff about a routine traffic stop. That’s not what happened. He was already stopped and going inside the store,” Yachica argued.
Yachica also questions the reason police say they stopped Moore.
“They say they thought his car was stolen. Yeah right. They always say that when they stop you. When I get stopped they tell me they don’t think my Infiniti is mine,” Moore said.
While Marin’s attorney, Bill Matthewman, and Armando Aguilar, president of the Fraternal Order of the Police are calling the shooting justified, the official investigation has yet to be completed.
“A man’s attorney will always say their client is innocent, as will the union because that’s their job. When a man’s lawyer says it’s justified that’s not the same as the legal determination,” said Ed Griffith, a public information officer for the Miami-Dade Office of the State Attorney.
“We are not even close to reaching a conclusion. The SAO investigates all police shootings, both fatal and nonfatal. We would like to have such a review completed within six months, but that goal can be disrupted when the necessary reports take longer to compile, complete and transcribe than is hoped,” Griffith explained.
Miami Police Detective William Moreno said the investigation is ongoing and that there are no updates.
Moore is survived by a large family, including his mother, Mary Williams, three sisters, two brothers, several nieces and nephews; and his girlfriend of four years, Ofelyah Jackson.