Veteran Funeral Controversy
It might seem like a case of "no good deed goes unpunished."
A philanthropist holds a funeral service for a homeless veteran.
But it was the location of the service that has created controversy... a memorial park for Martin Luther King.
TV 20's Duke Carter found out-- proper procedure was not followed in using the park... but at least one prominent city official was at the ceremony.
"he was a veteran, i'm a veteran i felt like i had a duty."
F.L. Brown did what he thought was right --- a funeral for Eric Chicago, a homeless veteran….
"it was a going away service."
Brown held the service in the park last Saturday since the veteran didn't have any family.
Folks who knew Chicago appreciated the service.
"i think it was a noble gesture done."
"i think he deserved that."
But Brown never thought he would have to deal with critics.
"i was flabbergasted."
Marion County NAACP President Loretta Jenkins says a funeral at this monument is a disgrace.
"that's a memory park, for one person, reverend martin luther king jr. and when activities are held there that's they are in memory of. "
And even for a veteran.
"there's a veterans memorial park over on 25th avenue why not take the services there?"
We wanted to find out if you could have a funeral service in the park.
So TV 20 asked at Ocala City Hall
They say you have inform the city's recreation and park officials, especially if more than 50 people attend.
and that number included Mayor Kent Guinn.
"even though they had good intentions and they were trying to honor a veteran they really need to find a different venue other than a public park."
And now city council staffers are drafting a letter to brown, explaining what he should have done.
"may god bless you with that letter."
In the end one thing is for certain.
"the man gone they buried him it should be over with."
Good intentions --- bad outcome.
Duke Carter TV 20 news.
Chicago was buried in a veteran cemetery.
Brown is still waiting for the letter from the city.
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