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Hundreds Mourn at Funeral of Man Who Died After Being Tasered by Police

By Wendell Hutson | December 21, 2012 2:39pm | Updated on December 21, 2012 4:28pm

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — Philip Coleman — the West Pullman man who died after he was Tasered by police earlier this month — was a role model, his family said at his funeral Friday.

About 200 people gathered at Trinity United Church of Christ, 400 W. 95th St., where Coleman's brother, Jeff, spoke about the impact his older brother had on his life.

"I loved my brother," Jeff Coleman said. "I looked up to him even though he was my younger brother."

Coleman was remembered by friends as a generous man.

"He was like a little brother to me," said John McGee, a family friend. "He was always there for me even when I didn't deserve it."

Friend Deborah Weston echoed sentiments about Coleman's selflessness.

"I am a Coleman lover," she said. "I love the entire family, but I especially loved Philip because he was a loving person who always put the needs of others before him. He was my friend and still is, and I will cherish the memories we built growing up together."

The Rev. Jesse Jackson said Philip Coleman, 38, died "standing up, like a man." Coleman worked with Jackson's Rainbow PUSH coalition, providing hospice care.

"Our friend Philip did not die of natural causes," Jackson said. "He died in police custody. Philip, a man of peace, died so violently."

Coleman was arrested Dec. 12 after allegedly attacking his mother in their far South Side home. He was Tasered multiple times while in police custody after he “became combative,” officials said.

Coleman’s family has filed suit against police, alleging Coleman was having a nervous breakdown and police participated in a cover-up of his death.

Coleman’s father, Percy, said police used excessive force against his son when what he needed was mental health treatment.