Whitney Houston's funeral costs Newark $187K
Taxpayers in Newark, New Jersey are furious following a report that Whitney Houston's funeral cost the city US$187,000 in police overtime, which amounts to five percent of the police department's $4 million budget.
"I think it's absolutely ridiculous when you have people who are unemployed and homeless, people walking up and down the streets," Newark resident Quincy Ruffin told a local affiliate of CBS News. “If [her family] wanted it to go that far, do that much, they should have been the ones providing for it."
Police were required to keep fans away from the private service at the New Baptist Church, the cemetery and a family gathering at the Newark Club. Meanwhile, thousands of residents lined the streets hoping to catch a glimpse of the hearse carrying the late pop diva's casket.
City officials defended the costs on the grounds of public safety. "I was able to be witness to the thousands upon thousands of people who were desperate to attend the service but held back by barriers and officers of the law," Democratic Councilwoman Mildred Crump told CBS. "If they had not been there someone may have been trampled, seriously hurt."
Houston drowned in a bathtub in California's Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 11. A coroner's report stated the cause of death was accidental drowning due to the effects of cocaine and heart disease.
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