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After Black Teen Was Found Hanging From Swing Set in NC, His Family and NAACP Ask Feds to Investigate

lennon_lacy_1013What happened to Lennon Lacy?

After the 17-year-old African-American student and football player was found hanging from a child’s swing set in August in the middle of a mostly white trailer park in North Carolina, Lacy’s family members don’t believe law enforcement’s contention that he killed himself.

The historical resonance of a Black boy found hanged has sent a cold chill through the small town of Bladenboro, particularly since Lacy was involved in a sexual relationship with a much older white woman.

The teen’s family has joined forces with a coalition of church leaders, lawyers and activists in North Carolina to ask federal authorities to aid in the investigation into the Lacy’s mysterious death. Officials from the North Carolina branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) spent almost two hours on Tuesday with US attorney Thomas Walker in his Raleigh office, according to a report in The Guardian, which said the NAACP handed the federal prosecutor a letter formally asking the FBI to join the investigation.

The NAACP also gave Walker a file containing more than 20 leads that seem to cast doubt on law enforcement’s contention that the 17-year-old killed himself with no involvement from anyone else.

“Given evidence uncovered by the (North Carolina) NAACP, there are several other possible explanations for his death besides a simple suicide,” the letter says, according to The Guardian.

“I just want to know what happened to my 17-year-old son; all I want is justice,” Lennon’s mother Claudia Lacy said at a news conference, as she added that the state bureau of investigators treated her like she was a suspect in the death. “I feel the SBI investigators interrogated me. They were not trying to find out the truth of what happened to my son, they were pushing towards a verdict of suicide.”

Walker’s office declined to comment on the invitation or whether it would be taken up, the Guardian said.

Lacy was found on August 29 hanging from a swing set that sat in the middle of a trailer park that was a short walk from his home. That evening Lacy was supposed to be playing in the season-opening football game, which his family members said he had been training for and anxiously awaiting for months. The starting linebacker with dreams of making it to the NFL had washed and packed his uniform and was excited about the big game.
“He was real excited… he was looking forward to doing good in the game,” teammate Anthony White said after his death.
But authorities latched onto the idea that he was despondent over the death of his uncle, to whom he was close and who had just been buried. Five days after his body was discovered, law enforcement authorities announced that there was no evidence of foul play, implying a probable suicide.
“He did have an interracial relationship and attended an interracial church and people in that community raised their dislike of that,” Reverend William Barber, president of the North Carolina branch, said at the news conference. “If the basic facts were reversed, and Lennon was white and found hanging in a predominantly black neighborhood, would there have been such a rush to quickly say this was a suicide?” 

The NAACP has hired a pathologist to study Lacy’s autopsy, particularly the scratches and contortions on his face that authorities contend were caused by ant bites or through the handling of the body after the postmortem had been concluded.

But the undertaker who handled his body, FW Newton Jr., had questions about the abrasions, telling reporters that the teen’s body “reminded him of corpses… where the deceased had been killed in a bar-room fight.”

In addition, the teen was found wearing shoes that were clearly not his—size 10.5 sneakers, nearly two sizes too small, and not his new Jordans

The civil rights group also hired attorney Heather Rattelade to look into the way the investigation was conducted.

Rattelade told the Guardian that at 3:08 pm on the day of Lacy’s death—possibly just nine hours after his body was discovered at the swing set—the medical examiner was informed by the lead investigator in the case that they believed they were dealing with a suicide.

She said they had failed to meet “even the minimum standards for crime scenes. I cannot tell you why minimum protocols were not followed, but that is a large part of the reason why we have been compelled to ask the department of justice and the FBI to carry out its own investigation into what happened to Lennon Lacy.”

What people are saying

53 thoughts on “After Black Teen Was Found Hanging From Swing Set in NC, His Family and NAACP Ask Feds to Investigate

  1. Bwire Vincent says:

    It's a privilege to be born. It's stupid, for anyone, to think that they own this world.

    White folk get to get away with everything, and still blame us for their misdeeds.

    I mean, are we that stupid?

  2. This story is horrifying and repulsive. And how terrible for the family to deal with e negligence of th

  3. **the negligence of those who swore to protect them and deliver justice. Hopefully the FBIs involvement will result in the arrest of those who are responsible. Good luck!

  4. Lena Tee says:

    “If the basic facts were reversed, and Lennon was white and found hanging in a predominantly black neighborhood, would there have been such a rush to quickly say this was a suicide?” –

    -Let's see, do blacks have a long history of lynching white folks? Lynching black people is a long stain on American History that people just would like to ignore. Back during the times when lynching's were most prominent most of the lynching's were not a result of any particular incident a lot of it was done for entertainment purpose's alone. They use to have picnics, carnivals, church revivals and at the end they would lynch a black person. Hell the KKK is threatening to lynch Ferguson protestors right now in 2014. Sorry investigator but your claim is obviously ignorant.

  5. Daryn Tallman says:

    That was the quote from the interracial church reverend not the investigator. Is it still ignorant?

  6. Lena Tee says:

    Yes Daryn, it's ignorant no matter who's mouth it comes from. Historical facts don't change based on who states them.

  7. Merl Seeker says:

    People of NC MARCH,RALLY EVERYDAY…UNTIL JUSTICE IS GIVEN.

  8. Daryn Tallman says:

    I agree but I think his point was that if the kid was white the police would not have jumped so quick to rule it a suicide and a more thorough investigation would have taken place.

    Just my opinion on that quote. Definitely sounds like a better investigation needs done. I feel bad for the kid and his family.

  9. Andrew A. Leggett says:

    Marching never solved anything. People have to take what they want. Folks need to stop asking and start doing.

  10. Merl Seeker says:

    Andrew do you not know your history MLK, JOHN LEWIS, ANDREW YOUNG and many more changed our world, look it up.

  11. Rmartin Photos says:

    Its not a privilage to be born its a right given by God. The right has been converted into a privilage

  12. Rmartin Photos says:

    if these people dont study TRUE history and not through reading others opinions, they are going to be saying alot of stupid stuff.

  13. Rmartin Photos says:

    we were indoctrinated all through public school and were lied to about what was going on while the laws to make specific things happened were successful. Thats why people keep saying wake up people. We were tought lies so that our hands would be open for help but they had us drink the kool aid. Get the truth about the civil war and leiber code 100. We were converted into a militant nation and we are under marshall law but it didnt just happen and its not coming. Its been here since the civil war and the gen orders 100 was implemented. Look at the laws and treatys, they tell you everything.

  14. Rmartin Photos says:

    If i say the people behind this racial movement could not care wether you black or white but devide and conquer everyone is there goal, would you be too brain washed to understand that?

  15. Rmartin Photos says:

    everybody look up general orders 100 and leiber code if that is spelled correctly. When you understand this itll open your eyes to study more. We are under a military force and we have generals and a chief just like hitler wanted. Attorney gen, commander and chief… how about almost all presidents are left handed. How about check and see if the US is incorporated in US code 28 30003 or close to it. Check to see is the federal reserve is a private organization. Check to see if your birth name was converted in to a business name and its your real name in all caps. Look at your bills and your name is all caps. The definition of a person is a corporation or fiction in all caps. This is only a small portion of the things to study. When you look up the titles we get after registering anything you wont want to register. Here is a hint, citizen, people, person. register is to pledge or plead to the king or queen and give up your rights for privileges. if you dont follow, your deep sleep with eyes open.

  16. Nebuwah Hutip says:

    No, no, no….
    God Damn America!

  17. Bwire Vincent says:

    Rmartin Photos Right; like, when we decide to support planned parenthood …

  18. Bwire Vincent says:

    Daryn Tallman
    For every evil white person, there's always another, who covers for their evil deeds, by pretending to care.

    Where is the white church, when a section of the population is crying foul?
    Simple, asking the aggrieved section of the population (non-white), to forgive, turn the other cheek and not loot.

    I notice, you conveniently made sure that you included, 'interracial', to try and fool people, into thinking that the young man's death was not racial.

  19. Daryn Tallman says:

    Bwire
    It sounds like you've got things all figured out.

    So if I write someting that says I care I'm pretending and covering for all the evil white people and if I write nothing then I must just be an evil white person. Sounds completely absurd and quite prejudicial to me.

    The church I go to prays for peace. Forgiveness is good too, for all sides. Looting never helps anything.

    I don't think anyone here is foolish enough to sway their thoughts on the fact I quoted the article's own description of his church.

    Regardless of how you feel toward white people, I still feel for Lennon and I truly hope his case is reviewed thoroughly so the truth will emerge.

  20. Daryn Tallman says:

    Bwire
    It sounds like you've got things all figured out.

    So if I write someting that says I care I'm pretending and covering for all the evil white people and if I write nothing then I must just be an evil white person. Sounds completely absurd and quite prejudicial to me.

    The church I go to prays for peace. Forgiveness is good too, for all sides. Looting never helps anything.

    I don't think anyone here is foolish enough to sway their thoughts on the fact I quoted the article's own description of his church.

    Regardless of how you feel toward white people, I still feel for Lennon and I truly hope his case is reviewed thoroughly so the truth will emerge.

  21. Prayer's for the family and for the ones who care more about flipping this into a racial argument.

  22. Bwire Vincent God gives us the power to create life…we decide if we want to bring forth that life… its sad…we rather rid of life after being granted one …human beings…we are killing ourselves

  23. Andrew A. Leggett yes it does…when people join together shit gets done! without marching we would not be here today but i also agree that with that marching tue action must come forth

  24. no matter how I look at it…i cant believe in 2014 ALMOST 2015….we are still talking about this…is american that immature? have we not grown and rise above this sad ages? racism is powerful…as long as different color skins are created…racism will always be powerful.

  25. Rmartin Photos says:

    Planned parenthood is a privilage or benefit privilage, privilages are granted through registering title or ownership. Anything we register is a pledge of ownership which is trade of rights for privilages. Car title, license, voters registration, certiificate of birth…lol. When we trade for privilages we accept a different jurisdiction and law.

  26. Andrew A. Leggett says:

    Lol trust me I know the entire story of all of those great men. I also know that MLK was planning on going to Washington to demand reparations. He also had a radical side that was suppressed because of how he would be perceived during this time. If you don't believe me LOOK IT UP! I'm not here to debate, queen. All I'm saying is that marching and rallying has been going on too long. It's time for people to take what they want. People at the top laugh at us because all we do is March and talk. When we start flipping shit over in THEIR neighborhoods I bet they'll get the hint. Whether you're peaceful or militant they will find a way to take you out. MLK and Malcolm learned this lesson. If you're gonna go out, it might as well be on your feet instead of begging others to make a change for you. You have to make the change yourself. If America is as free as people say it is then we have just as much right to do for us as others have to do for them. Have a nice night, queen.

  27. Bwire Vincent says:

    Daryn Tallman A non pretender sees people, for what they are; people. Not, Black, White, Asian, Interracial e.t.c.

    Just because you didn't, physically, kill the teen, or any other Black person, for that matter, doesn't mean that you are not part of the problem. A Black man is murdered by white thugs. Oh, I forgot, 'thug', is reserved for Black folks. You would rather settle for, 'a young Black male committed suicide, in a White neighborhood'.

    Why did Trayvon Martin, and Michael Brown have to be, 'thugs', in your eyes, when they don't even have criminal records? Why would you condemn the looting, and not the shooting? It's ridiculous, the things you people say, and do, when a crime has been committed by one of your kind. Even if it's against you, you always find ways to excuse your criminals.

    You people are obsessed with wanting to be the best at everything; you want to be seen as the most beautiful race, so much that when challenged by actual beauty (non white, of course), your default response is, 'monkey'. When smart Blacks make you look stupid, you bring up IQ (white invention), or include words like, 'foolish', in your statements.

    I'll make it easy for you; you are a complete imbecile.

  28. People don't care about humans…black humans

  29. Maria Rory says:

    @Diana Spalding REALLY. DAMN FALL BACK.You think who ever read your post can trust what you say.Really.

  30. Maria Rory says:

    If we don't make this a issue.The undercover white haters of interracial relationships will continue.They can't stand gay people neither.They will continue to be the nasty axxex they are because they are covered by people in high places that smile in your face five days a week..Not one time did I hear anything from his white girl he was sleeping with wonder why.

  31. A black person died, so it must be Whitey's fault!

  32. Lizzy Hannaman says:

    Bwire Vincent here's my issue, you say that non-pretenders see people as people and not by color. So are you saying you are a pretender? Because you keep saying thinks that portray you as thinking all white people are the same by saying "you people." Also, you said white folks in another comment. Maybe you need to start treating people as actual people and not by their color. And many people condemn looting no matter what race they are. When you are looting businesses that have nothing to do with what happened, you are no better than the police officer that killed Michael Brown. And just so you know, not just black people were looting, so were white people.

  33. Dani Elle says:

    Daryn Tallman I think that focusing on how looting doesn't change things diminishes the importance of the protests and their relevance in an age where people assume racism, discrimination and hate based on socially constructed stereotypes is OK. There have been countless protests where looting has took place. Most recently, the 2010 UK student protests, 2011 anti-cuts protest in London and the 2011 protest in London after Mark Duggan was shot. While I don't condone looting, I choose not to focus on it because if you do you are finding reasons to ignore an issue that is far more important than a few misguided protesters.

  34. Susan Murphy says:

    It is a racial argument! stop disrespecting Black people by dismissing the obvious.

  35. Bwire Vincent says:

    Lizzy Hannaman Those businesses you people care so much about, are owned by racist pigs, like you, who keep disrespecting the residents. Stop being an ignorant fool, and enlighten yourself, before you can start pointing fingers.

    Considering the fact that your ancestors were the originators of looting (which you are still directly/indirectly a beneficiary of), you have no moral authority to condemn any one doing the same thing you taught them.

  36. It's all of what you make out of it. If you have faith in the Lord then you would have peace in the situation. Has nothing to do with disrespecting the "black" people.

  37. Sonya Kay says:

    They no if they find out or already no its race

  38. Kiersten Jones says:

    When Daryn used the word "interracial," he was quoting the article. But I don't know why I bother replying since apparently all us white folk are either evil, don't care, or look at black Americans all the same and as "thugs."

    Lumping your view of an entire race into one line of thinking and a limited set of actions is EXACTLY why are young black men are being gunned down in the streets by the very men who are supposed to protect their freedoms. And instead of having peaceful discussion with the like-minded individuals here, you decide to weed people out by color. Why?

    I can never and will never be as outraged and hurt as you over the current events. Why? Simply put, because I am white and have never had to personally live with the daily struggle. But I'll be damned if I'm not outraged and filled with disgust.

  39. Susan Murphy says:

    Heather Andrea Taylor It does so have to do with disrespecting African people ! just because you don't feel comfortable when we state the obvious, doesn't make it not real. African people are constantly being murdered by you europeon terrorists, just like they have been for hundreds of years and there are pictures and postcards with twisted sick grins on the faces of your people to prove it. You even brought your spawns along to the murders for entertainment purposes. So don't be shocked when us African people don't want to pray to your god, it is a scam perpetrated by you terrorists and you obviously don't follow the scripture because you keep on terrorizing and murdering not only adults, but now you have taken to murdeing our children. Fuck your god or jesus or whatever and if there really is a god, then hopefully he will send all of you terrorists to hell where you belong!

  40. Rmartin Photos says:

    Its not that they dont care… they are afraid of us if we rise so they ignore and shake in there boots. The problem is blacks cant wake up for some reason, but i know why. Millions are paid to brainwashed on a constand bases.

  41. Rmartin Photos says:

    in my opinion i think that was a successful part of the divide and conquer

  42. the person quoted was questioning whether there had been a thorough investigation…and intoning that there had not been. Bwire and Lena. You two need to work on your BASIC reading comprehension skills. You are an embarrassment. Please don't offer support. #OMGhowdumbareyou

  43. Bwire Vincent says:

    Dani Elle They are the big fish, when it comes to looting. We never pay attention to them; that's how irrelevant they are, to some of us, when it comes to morals.

  44. Bwire Vincent says:

    Kiersten Jones Maybe, the good ones amongst you should start wearing bright colored armbands, for easier identification.

    I doubt, though, that it will be much of help, considering the fact that you are still guilty, by association…

  45. Bwire Vincent says:

    Christopher Johnson Is the 'person quoted', white, by any chance?

  46. Kiersten Jones says:

    Right. Because more racial separation and anecdotes to a genocidial maniac are a totally approach to making thinges better. You sound insane.

  47. Kiersten Jones says:

    Appropriate approach*

  48. Bwire Vincent says:

    Kiersten Jones Oh. I forgot; forgive and forget, right?

  49. No black person ever dies unless a white man kills him and puts ill-fitting shoes on his feet.

  50. Andrew A. Leggett So all the marches that MLK Jr. led didn't change anything? History disagrees.

  51. Here's a solution, Stop Spending for 6Months, buy only the necessities.

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