BOSTON — “God has had enough,” said the minister who buried a toddler killed in Boston’s recent mass murder. Four died in that shooting and another man is hanging on for his life. Police believe last week’s shooting resulted from a drug encounter gone bad.
In a city that’s seen its share of murders, these killings stand out because they broke the rule, people say. Women and children aren’t supposed to die in drug or gang disputes.
The open casket at this funeral forced everyone here to confront the reality of these shootings. Dressed in matching white suits, 2-year-old Amani Smith and his mother, 21-year-old Eyanna Flonory, lay together in the same casket, with the little boy resting on his mother’s side. At least one relative fainted as she looked closer.
“She was very proud to have just moved herself and her son into their first home, and was in the process of decorating,” read Aisha Johnson, from the official obituary. Johnson, a member of Morning Star Baptist Church, said Flonory was studying criminal justice at Bunker Hill Community College. Her friends and family considered her a “fashionista.”
She described Smith as a happy child, who loved to dance and bounce a ball.
“He enjoyed eating,” Johnson said. “Potato chips, and oatmeal were some of his favorites.” She said Smith would often stand next to his father and uncle while they played video games.
“He thought he was playing along even though his controller was never plugged in.”
Smith had just learned to say his name, according to his aunt Ebony Flonory. She was supposed to see Smith and her sister the next day.
“I was one of the last people to talk to her that night around 12:45,” she said while crying. “That day we talked and she apologized for everything that me and her have been going through.”
Ebony and Eyanna’s brother, Andrew Flonory, also spoke at the funeral. He described Eyanna as a maternal figure.
He says that when he recently broke his arm playing basketball, he pleaded with Eyanna not to tell his mother since he wasn’t supposed to be playing.
She agreed, but lectured him anyway.
“That’s what I’ll miss about her the most. She had the mothering thing down pat,” he said.
After all of the personal reflections, Morning Star Baptist Church Bishop John Borders said the murder of Flonory and Smith was a wake-up call for the city.
“You cannot see it with the natural eye, but I’m here to tell you today that God has been stirred up in his spirit by the deaths of these young people,” Borders said.
“God has had enough. God has had enough.”
Borders ended with a call to action, which was also an indictment.
“We have to take our city back,” he said. “Our preachers have to stop preaching irrelevant messages. We have to stop preaching messages that appear that we’re making our pockets fat while our families go to hell.”
Borders said teachers have to teach “lessons higher than MCAS,” police should do more neighborhood policing, men need to be fathers and mothers need to look for the guns and drugs in their children’s rooms and throw them out. People should stop worrying about being “snitches” and report criminal activity to the police. And Borders said the media should stop covering bad things that happen in these neighborhoods and start covering the good things.
He said he forgives the killer or killers, but wants them to feel the “full weight” of prosecution.