Hundreds mourn Cherry Groce at funeral

all credits: Voice Online
originally published: 24th May 2011

Brixton stood still today (May 24) for the funeral of Cherry Groce, the innocent victim of a police shooting 26 years ago. Hundreds of mourners and well-wishers marched to The Brixton Seven Day Adventist Church on Santley Street, in south London, to the sounds of a New Orleans jazz band playing hymns. For many, the strong turnout was a testament to the undeniably strong influence Cherry Groce had on the community.

“There’s been a massive outpouring of love and affection for a woman that’s been an icon in the black community,” said race equality campaigner Lee Jasper. “People have turned out in their hundreds.”

The well attended service commenced with tributes from the Groce family, followed by musical tributes from friends and community members, and a reading from the Jamaican High Commissioner to the UK, Anthony Johnson.

Dorothy ‘Cherry’ Groce was left paralysed when police inspector Douglas Lovelock opened fire after he entered her Brixton home. He was among officers looking to arrest her son, Michael Groce, on September 28, 1985. She was shot in the chest whilst standing in her bedroom.

The news of her shooting quickly spread through the local community, triggering the 1985 Brixton riots. The Jamaican-born mother of eight managed to live 16 years longer than a 10-year life expectancy forecast by doctors after the incident.

Cherry deteriorated after an infection led to kidney failure. She died with her family at her bedside, aged 63, on Easter Sunday.

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Cherry Groce Funeral
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