The hanging deaths of two African-American men from North Carolina are conjuring up frightening images of the Jim Crow south. On the morning of August 29th, 17 year old Lennon Lacy was found hanging from a swing set in the middle of a mobile home community in the small town of Bladenboro, NC.
Although the Medical Examiner ruled Lacy’s death a suicide, family members insist the teen was murdered. Local leaders and State NAACP representatives held a march recently and the FBI announced that they’ve opened an investigation into Lacy’s death. The 5-foot-9 teen was found dead with a pair of sneakers two size too small for the West Bladen High School football lineman. According to reports, friends of Lennon Lacy believe his relationship with a 31 year old white woman may have contributed to his death.
On an early Sunday morning last August, 26 year old Thomas Shantez Austin was found hanging from a tree by his belt in Fred Fletcher’s Park in Raleigh, NC. Austin was found with his pants around his ankles and other clothing in nearby bushes. Supporters of Austin’s family say the more graphic details of how he was found was not made public. According to published reports, Austin called his father on the night of his death indicating that he was beaten, robbed, being chased and that his attackers were threatening to kill him. Police have yet to release a video of the alleged attack to the family citing ongoing investigations. The Medical Examiner in Austin’s case ruled his death a suicide. Austin’s family also believes he was murdered. ‘COMMUNITY VOICES’ host, Ron Holland talked with Rosa Garvin, President of the Charlotte Chapter of the National Action Network and State Representative, Rodney W. Moore of House District 99 about the ongoing investigations in both cases as well as Representative Moore’s efforts to introduce an Anti-Profiling bill into the legislature.