While Whitney Houston’s funeral was invite-only, all of the citizens of Newark will end up contributing more than they realized. The city will have to pay its police force $187,000 in overtime.
Newark Councilwoman Mildren Crump defended the police presence, telling WCBS that she witnessed thousands of people who were desperate to attend but were held back safely by law enforcement at barricades.
Newark citizens may be less forgiving, as the overtime pay is covered by taxes. The Los Angeles Times article compares Houston’s funeral to Michael Jackson’s memorial service, which — it is heavily implied — did things a lot better.
Although police overtime for Jackson’s private funeral cost $150,000, it was covered by his estate. He also had a memorial service at Staples Center, which 17,500 fans were able to attend. No Newark-based Whitney Houston fans were invited to her funeral.
It follows, then, that locals would be annoyed. Just ask Newark resident Quincy Ruffin:
I think it’s absolutely ridiculous when you have people who are unemployed and homeless, people walking up and down the streets … If [her family] wanted it to go that far, do that much, they should have been the ones providing for it.