MILWAUKEE - Funeral services for 12-year-old Andre Smith II, the boy's grandfather accused of beating him to death, were held Friday, Sept. 10.
One of the main things loved ones continued to talk about was Smith's smile and funny personality. And while he was laid to rest, there is a message the family hopes will continue to be heard.
"This should have never happened in a community that values their children. Never," said Jermain Reed.
Emotions filled Solomon's Temple on Friday. Smith's grandfather, Andrez Martina, is charged with first-degree intentional homicide in his death.
"This is really hard. This pain is just unimaginable," Nakeda Martina, Smith's mother, said.
Andre Smith II
The message coming from the service: Put an end to child abuse.
"I just hope that what happened to my baby, it will save some other kids or some other parents who might have situations that could lead to something like this that happened to my baby," said Martina.
"We got to get justice for Dre Dre. Meaning there’s kids out here that need our help," Andre Smith, the 12-year-old's dad, said.
Smith's siblings, teachers and State Sen. LaTonya Johnson also spoke about the impact Smith had on their lives.
Funeral for Andre Smith II
A proclamation was made in the city of Milwaukee, marking Sept. 10 as Wisconsin Ending Crimes Against Children Day in hopes to raise awareness of the impact violence has on kids and their families. The proclamation also recognizes all of the young lives lost to violence and abuse in 2021.
"We must put an end to child abuse because Andre matters – you hear me?" Reed said.
Andrez Martina is expected in court on Sept. 13 for a preliminary hearing.