Osaze Osagie's family thanked the State College community for its support on the third anniversary of their son's death
March 20 marked the third anniversary of the death of Osaze Osagie, who was killed by State College police when they attempted to serve him a mental health warrant to be involuntarily committed. The Osagie family held a memorial service Sunday, thanking the community for supporting them since 2019.
Speaking to a full audience at the Albright-Bethune United Methodist Church in downtown State College, Osaze’s mother, Iyunolu, said the memorial is a tribute to all who have supported the family.
“We really are filled with gratitude, because when you make somebody else’s pain your pain, you have spoken,” she said.
Sylvester Osagie, Osaze’s father, praised the community for donating to two scholarships established at Penn State and the State College Area High School in memory of his son. Both have raised more than $100,000.
“We cannot afford to forget because doing so will leave us vacant as a community, and we don’t want that to happen,” Sylvester Osagie said. “There’s always some hope that grief will fade away with such community support. We have seen the efforts by members of the community and members of the State College Borough.”
State College Mayor Ezra Nanes signed a proclamation making Sunday “A Day of Unity Remembering Osaze Osagie.” He said on Twitter, “It takes every one of us, the whole of our community to bring about healing.”
Osaze, who was Black and had severe mental illnesses, was the victim of the first fatal shooting by State College police in the department’s history. Speakers at Sunday’s service remembered him to be a kind person who was devoted to his faith.
The family has filed a federal civil lawsuit demanding restitution from the borough. They said Sunday they hope the borough will cooperate and bring closure to their loss.
Iyunolu Osagie said the family will start a non-profit organization to support and work with organizations that deal with disabilities, mental health and homelessness.