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Funeral for Geraldine Talley includes calls for East Side buildup, control of semi-automatic guns

Loved ones, friends, community members, and a mix of local and national leaders in the civil rights movement paid tribute to Geraldine Talley and her family.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Most funerals focus directly on the person.

But considering what happened with the terrible still hard to comprehend loss of 62-year-old Geraldine Chapman Talley and the other victims of the May 14 shooting, there was a larger theme in her service of the need for East Side neighborhood improvements and calls to address these mass shootings.

Loved ones, friends, community members, and a mix of local and national leaders in the civil rights movement paid tribute to Talley and her family.

Previously, 2 On Your Side reported that she was shopping that fateful day but became separated from her fiancé Greg, who did survive. 

We also learned that Talley had just found out recently that she was to become a grandmother. 

Rev. Darius Pridgen of True Bethel Baptist Church told her loved ones, "Know that we as a community cannot stop loving on you tomorrow, or when the cameras leave and when everybody is off of Jefferson. We still have to live in this community."

They want her legacy among the Buffalo 10 to endure. So while some personal memories of "Gerri" were shared at the Mount Aaron Missionary Baptist Church, there was also a larger call to make sure the lost lives were seen as a catalyst for change. 

The Rev. Al Sharpton told those assembled for the funeral this message.

"We will move forward and turn this Tops disaster into a resurrection of raising children where there won't be one grocery store in our side of town," Sharpton said. "What we do in Buffalo after the worst racial massacre since Charleston is judged by what we do about it.

"And we need to develop this part of our community in name of Geraldine and the other nine. And we need to get rid of the automatic weapons."

Her son Mark Talley, saying he  "was exhausted" from being asked to speak constantly about his mother, used his eulogy to pick up that theme regarding the mass shootings here in Buffalo and Texas.

"There is no point as Reverend Al Sharpton said for you to have an AR-15 kept underneath your bed at home. No point for you to need an AR-15 to protect your family," he said.

Attorney and advocate Ben Crump who may represent some of the families of then victims added this point about potential legal action.

"We will get justice for Geraldine Talley because we will go to the root of the hate," Crump said.

"We're not just going to deal with that young, sick, depraved monster, but we're going to deal with the gun manufacturers, the gun retailers, the gun distributors, the web site, the killers' parents. We're going to sue them all, because that is the way we get justice."

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