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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 December 2005, 08:28 GMT
Crowds mass for Williams funeral
Rapper Snoop Dogg holds up a photo of Williams as he speaks at his funeral
Rapper Snoop Dogg was among the high-profile figures to attend
Hundreds of people have attended the funeral of executed former US gang leader Stanley "Tookie" Williams.

Civil rights campaigner Jesse Jackson, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and rapper Snoop Dogg were among those at the Los Angeles service.

Williams was executed a week ago, after a plea for clemency to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger failed.

In a recorded message, Williams urged his mourners to help others "avoid our destructive footsteps" and seek peace.

The 51-year-old co-founded the Crips, one of the world's biggest and deadliest gangs, in Los Angeles in 1971.

Teach them to focus on rebuilding the neighbourhoods that you, others and I helped destroy
Williams' recorded message
He always denied the 1979 murders of Albert Owens in a convenience store hold-up and of an elderly Taiwanese immigrant couple and their daughter at a motel they ran.

During his 24 years on death row, he campaigned against violence and wrote books warning children against gang life.

Addressing the mourners, Rev Jackson condemned the execution of a man who saw himself as a "healer, not a predator" by the time of his death.

He said: "Tookie is dead. We're not safer, we're not more secure, we're not more humane."

'Battled demons'

A large TV screen was set up for the crowds who gathered outside the Bethel AME Church for the ceremony.

Travon Williams mourns at the funeral of his father, Stanley "Tookie" Williams
Williams left a message for mourners including his son, Travon

"The war within me is over. I battled my demons and was triumphant," Williams' recording said.

"Teach them how to avoid our destructive footsteps. Teach them to strive for higher education.

"Teach them to promote peace and teach them to focus on rebuilding the neighbourhoods that you, others and I helped destroy."

Mr Schwarzenegger refused to grant clemency to Williams after questioning his claims of redemption.

The relatives of some of his victims also insisted he did not deserve a commuted sentence because he had not owned up to his crimes and refused to inform on fellow gang members.

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