Hearts broken at services for slain cop

A pallbearer carries the overriding feeling of the day during funeral services for slain Officer Moses Walker Jr.
A pallbearer carries the overriding feeling of the day during funeral services for slain Officer Moses Walker Jr. (DAVID MAIALETTI / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER)
Posted: August 29, 2012

DRESSED IN black, the mother of slain Police Officer Moses Walker Jr. stood in front of her son's stainless-steel open casket for one final time Monday morning and screamed.

In front of more than 1,000 mourners at Deliverance Evangelistic Church, she jumped up and down, flanked by her daughter and a funeral director.

As the choir belted out "You are the Source of My Strength," some in the North Philly church, on Lehigh Avenue near 20th, stood and clapped.

Moses Walker's mother, Wayne Walker, then walked back to her front-row seat.

Romaine Gibbs, the head funeral director at the Cordoza Jacks Funeral Home, stood next to the officer's mother at the open casket, where her son lay in his dark-blue dress uniform, a cap and white gloves. Gibbs said afterward that Walker's mother was "hurting," but was "giving God praise for his life."

Walker's funeral service brought out city dignitaries and police brass. Walker's fellow 22nd District officers sat in one front-middle section, across an aisle from Walker's extended family. Law-enforcement from around the region, members of the Fire Department and many churchgoers also attended.

Walker, 40, a 19-year veteran, was off-duty when he was shot and killed on Aug. 18 shortly before 6 a.m. on Cecil B. Moore Avenue near 20th Street, allegedly by one of two men who tried to rob him.

Senior Pastor Glen Spaulding said that many may wonder "how the good could be taken so young, while the wicked" remain.

"In the city of Philadelphia, we're in trouble today," he said. "We have a generation that does not want to follow [the Lord]."

Mayor Nutter decried the violence and said that he was "very angry" about Walker's slaying. Of the two alleged killers, he proclaimed: "While those two are in custody, and here on this Earth, their butts are mine."

Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said that Walker's badge, No. 2553, will be retired in tribute to the officer, who considered retiring next year.

Walker's cousin Traci Williams told those who gathered that she wore green, not black, to the service "because that's the color of life. I know Moses is still living."

William Walker, a brother, said that about 11 years ago the family lost another brother. But he noted that Moses was one to celebrate life.

"If I had to choose one quality, it would be his positive outlook," William said.

Walker had attended Deliverance Evangelistic for about a year after his church in Brewerytown, Unity Temple Worship Center, where he was a deacon, closed.

Pastor Anthony D. Little, from Unity Temple, said that Walker was the best man at his wedding.

"As my wife was coming down the aisle, he [Walker] said, 'Psst, Psst! I'm proud of you,' " Little recalled.

After the ceremony, Walker's body, escorted by police on motorcycles, was taken to Fernwood Cemetery, in Lansdowne, where he was buried.

Contact Julie Shaw at 215-854-2592 or shawj@phillynews.com. Follow her on Twitter @julieshawphilly.

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