Family and friends gather to remember Marcus Edwards

Benjamin McKnight

Nearly 400 people packed into Judah Temple AME Zion Church in Mitchellville, which needed two extra rooms to hold the amount of overflow. Hundreds of cars were parked as far as three blocks away from the service, to pay respect to who many described as an incredible young man.

His family was front and center with everyone from his grandparents to the youngest little cousins. Morgan was represented by the many members of S.M.O.O.T.H., which Edwards was a vital part. Many police officers also attended the service. Edwards’ career goal was to be a police officer in his hometown of Washington DC.

A police escort was provided for the funeral party and several officers spoke at on behalf of their respective departments. Edwards was a graduate of the Metro Junior Police Academy, an intern for five summers, and even dressed up as McGruff the crime dog for the 2nd district in D.C. His involvement with police did not end there, he was also an intern at the US Department of the Treasury.

“We only hear about the bad stories today; stories like Marcus’ are not being told, but they should be,” said Metro Police Department’s interim police chief Peter Newsham. “It is our job to tell his story now.”

Both the Metro Police and the Treasury Department’s Mint Police named Edwards an honorary police officer and he was referred to as officer Edwards throughout the service. The Treasury Department went even further and will name the internship program with the U.S. Mint Police after him.

Many different acknowledgments were read at the ceremony from a variety of places. Both the Mayor of Washington D.C., Muriel Bowser and the Mayor of Baltimore, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, sent letters of condolences. District councilwoman Eleanor Holmes Norton also sent a letter stating that September 27, 2016 will be known as “Marcus Edwards Day” in D.C. The family even received a phone call from Tiger Woods, giving his condolences.

Vice President of Student Affairs Tanya Rush spoke on behalf of the faculty and students of Morgan and read a personal letter of condolences from campus president David Wilson. The members of S.M.O.O.T.H. joined together on stage in remembrance of Edwards and lined the aisles as the casket was moved.

“He wouldn’t let you not be happy,” S.M.O.O.T.H. member Andre Cassell said,” He always would light up a room with his smile.”

Edwards was the oldest of six siblings and his closest younger brother, Maurice, spoke on behalf of his brothers and sisters. He laughed at the notion of Marcus being in the group S.M.O.O.T.H. saying, “I thought I was the smooth one”. As tears ran from his eyes, he vowed to keep his big brother’s memory alive.

“We have to remember that we didn’t lose Marcus,” said Scott Moore, the pastor of Judah Temple. “When you lose something, you don’t know where it is, and we know where Marcus is.”