In a heart-wrenching turn of events echoing across the state of Mississippi, the family of Dexter Wade, 37, is grappling with his untimely and devastating demise, seeking answers and justice. The tragic incident occurred in March when Wade was struck by a vehicle from the Jackson police department, unbeknownst to his family, who first reported him missing on March 14 and had him declared deceased on August 24.
In a quest for the truth and driven by a desire for closure, Wade’s family seeks to have the body exhumed for an independent autopsy. They are also urging the Department of Justice (DOJ) to step in and conduct an impartial investigation.
The local law enforcement agency, Jackson Police Department, acknowledged the fact that Wade was hit by one of their patrol cars. They, however, insist it was an unfortunate accident devoid of malicious intent, thereby denying accusations of negligence in their delayed next-of-kin notification.
Marked by regret, the City of Jackson, articulating its condolences, mentioned in a statement, “While regrettable, our investigation concluded no malevolent behavior on the part of any Jackson police staff.”
The incident unfolded on March 5th, 2023, when officers were called to I-55 South following reports of an accident involving a pedestrian. Despite their immediate response, they were unable to identify him, and it was only days later that the coroner’s office made this identification possible through medication found on his person.
Unfortunately, the Jackson Police Department’s attempts to reach Wade’s relatives failed due to outdated contact information. Further investigation revealed an unfortunate failure on the part of the authorities to link the missing person’s report with the death of Wade, leading to the delay in informing his family.
Wade’s mother, Bettersten Wade, expresses her grief and skepticism, stating her repeated pleas for help weren’t met with appropriate action. She claims that if the authorities were aware of her son’s identity from day one, they should have informed her about his demise in the morgue.
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, representing Wade’s family, announced his intentions to file a petition for exhumation from the “pauper’s field” where Wade was initially buried. The grave, marked only by a pole and number in the field, contrasted with his family’s plans for a proper burial that respects his memory.
Crump aims to facilitate an independent autopsy post-exhumation, followed by a more fitting funeral and burial for Wade. Crump passionately declared, “We are never going to let Dexter Wade be swept under the rug.”