At the end of the service, Clarke went up for a final parting moment with Jules, a military veteran and retired graveyard security guard, who was recovering from a stroke in Kings County Hospital when he was fatally struck by COVID-19. Clarke used the moment by the coffin to raise his cellphone above the cord on which the backdrop hung.
“I stuck the phone up and took a picture,” the 39-year-old entrepreneur recalled.
He did not see the result until he returned to his seat and checked his phone.
“It was just bodies, bodies on the floor, people on top of each other,” he said.
The picture, which he later shared with The Daily Beast, showed at least eight bodies had been left haphazardly on the floor. They were only partly covered by sheets or quilts and appeared to be unclothed. Three of the faces were visible.