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Funeral home that allegedly stored bodies in U-Haul trucks has license suspended

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Posted at 12:23 PM, May 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-01 12:23:51-04

BROOKLYN — A Brooklyn funeral home accused of storing bodies in U-Haul trucks had its license suspended, authorities said.

Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker issued the immediate suspension order to the Andrew T. Cleckley Funeral Home, he said in a statement, calling the business’ actions “appalling” and “disrespectful to the family of the deceased, and completely unacceptable.”

“Funeral homes have a responsibility to manage their capacity appropriately and provide services in a respectful and competent manner. We understand the burden funeral homes are facing during this unprecedented time. That’s why the state previously issued an order allowing out of state funeral home directors to assist during this crisis and took steps to ease administrative hurdles. But a crisis is no excuse for the kind of behavior we witnessed at Andrew T. Cleckley Funeral Home, and we are holding them accountable for their actions,” the statement further said.

Police responded to reports of bodies in trucks after neighbors attributed a foul order that persisted for possibly weeks.

Police sources told PIX11's Mary Murphy anywhere from 30 to 60 bodies were being stored in two U-Haul trucks outside the funeral home.

The source said the funeral home was filled to capacity and, and called the unsanitary and undignified storage "totally inappropriate."

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said it’s demeaning to both the deceased and their loved ones.

“When you find bodies in trucks like this throughout our city, treating them in an undignified matter, that’s not acceptable,” Adams said.

He said we can’t put the blame solely on funeral homes, more needs to be done. Adams also told PIX11 he’s putting together a committee to come up with a plan for the handling of so many bodies across the city.