Cops monitor gang leader’s funeral

BRIDGEPORT – Dozens of police officers, including the department’s SWAT team, stood at the ready outside Messiah Baptist Church Monday morning as former city gang leader Abraham Davidson was eulogized.

Police estimated at more than 200 people attended the funeral at the church which is next door to the Police Department.

Davidson, 23, the former leader of the East Side Boyz, had only been out of prison a few weeks when police said he was gunned down July 6 at the intersection of William Street and Barnum Avenue.

There have been no arrests and police said the investigation is continuing.

Police stepped up their presence in the East Side of the city during the past weekend in response not only to Davidson’s murder but the acquittal Friday of 20-year-old gang member Laheem “Heemie” Jones for the fatal shooting two years ago of 14-year-old Justin Thompson.

On Friday night, members of the State Police gang task force pulled over a car on Newfield Avenue in the East End for going through a red traffic light. Police said as they approached the car they noticed the front passenger, Joseph Beal, attempting to conceal something on the floor with his feet.

Both Beal, 27 and the driver, Sidney Johnson, 28, were removed from the car and police said they found a loaded .45-caliber handgun under the floor mat.

Johnson, who police said admitted the gun was his, was charged with criminal possession of a firearm, carrying a pistol without a permit and having a weapon in a motor vehicle. He was released after posting $20,000 bond.

Daniel Tepfer