Chicago, IL — A relative and a family friend of the late Gospel singer Albertina Walker were arrested, after an altercation during a Chicago tribute concert, police said.
Gerald Walker, her nephew, and Carl Jackson, a friend, were arrested and each charged with a single count of battery in the incident that took place Thursday, October 14th during a special tribute for Queen Albertina Walker at the Apostolic Church of God, 6320 South Dorchester Avenue, Chicago, IL.
The legendary Grammy-winning singer, died Oct. 8th at the age of 81.
The victim was Walker’s former business manager and god-son Eric Peterson, who joined the other pulpit guests about forty-five minutes after the concert had started. However instead of sitting in one of the chairs beside the other pulpit guests, he sat down on the bench behind the organ only a few feet away. Within minutes, many in the audience began to point out to each other, “Did you see Eric?” Many within the Walker family were also surprised to see him, including Albertina Walker’s god-daughter “Tina Nance, who looked up at Pam Morris and mouthed the words, “Oh my God.” However, Morris who was co-hosting the event with Ambassador Dr. Bobby Jones, was not aware that Eric had arrived, and was not able to understand what she was saying, so she proceeded to the floor to speak with Nance, who said, “I can’t believe he (Eric) is here,” then Nance walked out of the sanctuary.”
At the exact same time, and on the opposite side of the pulpit, one of the Walker family members approached Peterson and demanded that Eric leave the pulpit. When he did not, within minutes, several men pulled Peterson off of the organ bench and then off of the pulpit and down several stairs, where police spokesman John Mirabelli said, Peterson was “battered” by Walker and Jackson, before actually getting him out of the sanctuary.
Policeman John Mirabelli said, “One of them grabbed him and the other one punched him.”
Security quickly acted to stop the altercation as those who were involved proceeded to the rear hallway of the church. The argument continued from the Walker family, to not let Peterson back into the church, as there had been a division over some personal issues prior to the tribute.
However, after charges were filed, and arrests were made, Peterson was allowed back in the church and a while later calm did return to the service.
Walker’s goddaughter, Tina Nance, said she doesn’t want the incident to detract from the singer’s reputation and legacy.
“It was unfortunate what happened, but I don’t want it to detract from the celebration of my godmother’s legacy and her memory,” Nance said.
Peterson was not seriously injured and attended Walker’s funeral on the following day, Friday, October 15th.
May she rest In Peace!
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