By Jessica Koscielniak and Emily Brosious
Originally published at Homicide Watch Chicago
May 14, 2014
During the funeral service for Jabari Davis it didn’t matter if you were a North Sider or a South Sider, a Cubs fan or a Sox fan, everyone was on an even playing ground.
After nearly 10 years of working as a parking attendant for the Chicago Cubs, Davis loved the ball club.
Davis, 29, was fatally shot about 7:15 a.m. May 3 in his mother’s apartment in the 900 block of East 81st Street, authorities said.
Red and white flowers — including an arrangement with the Cubs logo — surrounded the white casket with blue satin lining as family and friends said farewell to the man known as a “Gentle Giant.”
The Cubs assisted the Davis family in covering funeral expenses and also provided a bus for more then 50 employees who attended the services. Cubs owner Tom Ricketts attended the wake.
“He had the most beautiful smile,” fellow Cubs parking attendant Carol Cuello said. “It was like a sunny day.”
Cuello recalled joking with Davis about finding a full-time job away from being a part-time “parker,” but Davis said he was waiting to complete his 10th season with the organization.
“He was looking forward to his 10th-year pin,” Cuello said.
Last week, Linda Davis sat on her sister’s front stoop in the Grand Boulevard neighborhood, afraid to return to her apartment. She is terrified.
The grieving mother had just finalized her son’s funeral arrangements with Leak & Sons Funeral Home. Going to Leak is a tradition for the Davis family.
Davis doesn’t want to go back. Most likely, she won’t go back — she can’t erase the images of her eldest child lying on floor near the front door to her second-story apartment.
“It’s never going to leave my heart,” she said. “I saw my son lying there in a puddle of blood.”
Davis wonders whether her son would still be alive if her security requests to the Ranch Realty property manager were granted.
“My building was a trap — full of people doing and selling drugs, coming and going,” she said.
At the very least, she wanted security cameras in the hallways. Something to make the residents feel safer.
But Ranch Reality took no action.
Less then a week after the murder, Earmer Young, owner of Ranch Realty, acknowledged that the situation in the building was “out of hand,” and said security problems had plagued the building long before he took over property management in February. But there were no plans for security enhancements because the owners “can’t afford it,” he said.
Grown men, mostly dressed in matching “RIP” shirts fought back tears as they pulled the casket
from the hearse and carried it to its final resting place in the east end of Oakwood Cemetery.
Deneen Weather took a few steps closer to the casket as her boyfriend — the father of her son — was lowered into the ground. She wailed in grief before turning away. This was too much
“I need Jabari,” she yelled. “I want him back.”
After the service, friends and cousins gathered near the grave, sharing stories and memories of their laidback friend known for staying away from trouble.
“He was loyal among wolves… . He was bridge builder no matter what side you was from,” Robert Coker said while standing near the grave.
“He was one of the greats. His heart was too big.”