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Brianna Grier eulogized by Rev. Al Sharpton, family presses for answers at funeral

Manuel Breva Colmeiro/Getty Images

(ATLANTA) — Brianna Grier, a mother of 3-year-old twins who died last month in police custody, was remembered Thursday by her family as a loving, caring person.

Rev. Al Sharpton spoke at Grier’s funeral, which took place at West Hunter Baptist Church in Atlanta.

“The program says that we come to celebrate a life, but we also come to condemn a passing,” Sharpton said.

He continued, “These two young twins … one day we will have to tell them the story of what happened to their mother. But the troubling thing is that they will ask, ‘Why?’ And I’m here today to join others in saying that Georgia is going to have to start answering why.”

Preliminary findings of an independent autopsy ordered by Grier’s family declared her cause of death to be severe blunt force injury to the head. Results of an official autopsy being conducted as part of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s review of Grier’s death are still pending, according to a GBI representative.

The 28-year-old was arrested by Hancock County Sheriff’s Office deputies on July 15 after Grier’s mother called 911 to report that her daughter was experiencing a mental health crisis, according to the family and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Grier fell out of the police car’s rear passenger door after it was not properly closed. Grier had been handcuffed and was not wearing a seat belt, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

Sharpton said $5,000 from the National Action Network will go toward a fund for Grier’s daughters’ education. He then went on to criticize the sheriff’s office and its initial claims that Grier kicked open the door to the police car, causing her to fall out.

“That’s why if the county don’t do something about Brianna, we’re going to the Justice Department,” Sharpton said at the funeral. “Her life mattered and that’s why we’re here.”

Grier’s father, Marvin Grier, said: “The night that this happened, we called the police for help … not death. We are here to seek justice, accountability, transparency. That’s all we’re asking for. We need answers.”

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