Friends/family of unarmed black man shot by police in Ypsi police crowdfund for a headstone


David Ware (right), pictured here with his mother Maudess Sutton, was unarmed when killed in a 2007 police sting. - COURTESY THE WARE FAMILY
  • Courtesy the Ware family
  • David Ware (right), pictured here with his mother Maudess Sutton, was unarmed when killed in a 2007 police sting.

In 2007, an Ypsilanti Police Department officer shot down unarmed black man David Ware in an undercover drug sting gone wrong.

We reported on the murder last year, and an article written by Radical Washtenaw that recounted the case, how the shooting played out, and the aftermath in which a family still grieves.

As Radical Washtenaw wrote in August 2016:

The killing of David Ware by an Ypsilanti Police Department officer in 2007 appears, in 2016, as just a variation of a standard and sick script that plays out with regularity.

Two officers pursued Ware as he fled from the scene of a drug bust outside The Keg Party Store. Ypsilanti Police Department Officer Uriah Hamilton fired the three shots from behind Ware, killing the unarmed 29 year old. The officer’s justification: “I thought he was turning around and reaching for a gun.”

All that officers found on his body was cash. No gun. And while Hamilton and the YPD would have preferred it be a dead man’s word against their own, a witness saw the killing go down from his home.

And the witness says Ware never turned around or reached for his belt.

The short of it is clear: White YPD officer Uriah Hamilton killed an unarmed black man, who presented no threat, by shooting him in the back.

“They robbed my son of his life, and they robbed my grandchildren. I have grandkids who sit up and cry about their dad, and what can I tell them? What can I tell them to bring their dad back? We sit up and cry, and it’s like it happened yesterday,” said Ware’s mother, Maudess Marie Sutton.

Not surprisingly, the officer didn't faced any real consequences. And ten years later, the family doesn't have enough money to buy a headstone for Ware, but the good folks at Radical Washtenaw are holding a YouCaring crowdfunding campaign to raise $3,000 for a proper marker. As of press time, it has collected around $2,000.

For more on the story, see our coverage here, or Radical Washtenaw's full story here. And to donate to the campaign, go here.

Update: Someone donated $1,000 in the last hour, pushing the campaign beyond its $3,000 goal.

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