Fight breaks out at funeral for Black teen Aries Clark, killed by police

Aries Clark (Image Source: Family handout)

It’s been almost two weeks since Aries Clark, 16, was shot by police outside a youth shelter. Officers from the Marion Police Department responded to a call at the East Arkansas Youth Services in the city of Marion, Arkansas. According to witnesses and video that has been uploaded to social media, within moments of officers arriving, Clark was shot in front of the youth shelter. He was transported to a local hospital and died the next day from his injuries. His mother, Byrd Clark, stated to media that doctors told her Aries was shot in the back of the head, buttocks, and back.

On the day her son was to be laid to rest, Byrd Clark marched on foot to her son’s home going service to bring attention to the killing of her son by police. But when she got to the funeral home, Byrd was shocked to discover someone in the family started the service without the grieving mother. While a family member was making remarks, Clark went to the podium and reportedly snatched the microphone away from the speaker.

Within moments, a heated verbal argument ensued which then became a physical confrontation. Chairs were turned over and church pews broken as mourners at the service began fighting. Police officers had to be called to the scene to break up the fight and de-escalate the situation. According to mourners who spoke on camera to local news outlet WREG News Channel 3, some family members were upset that Byrd was 30 minutes late to the service. One witness stated, “You 30 minutes late for your own son’s funeral!” Another one witness said, “You already had him cremated, you already took everything from us. For us not to see him, and then you come up here extremely disrespectful.”

The death of Aries Clark is still under investigation and his mother promised she will continue to seek answers and justice for her son.

Mo Barnes
Mo Barnes

Maurice "Mo" Barnes is a graduate of Morehouse College and Political Scientist based in Atlanta. Mo is also a Blues musician. He has been writing for Rolling Out since 2014. Whether it means walking through a bloody police shooting to help a family find justice or showing the multifaceted talent of the Black Diaspora I write the news.