On March 19, 2015, Otis Byrd, 54, was found hanging from a tree in Port Gibson, Mississippi. The FBI and Mississippi Bureau of Investigation are investigating the incident, and the NAACP is asking the Justice Department to get involved.
Although racial lynching is often viewed as a thing of the past, there have been several cases where Blacks have been lynched in modern times.
Here are five horrific modern-day lynchings of Black people by the hands of racists.
In 2008, Brandon McClelland was with Shannon Finley and Charles Crostley in Paris, Texas. At some point, McClelland got out of the truck after arguing with Finely and Crostley. Finely ran over McClelland and drug him 70 feet to his death. Finley and Crostley were arrested, but their charges were dropped in a town that often displayed overt racism.
In 2011, James Craig Anderson of Mississippi was beaten by 10 young white teens and ran over by a pick-up truck. Deryl Paul Dedmon, John Aaron Rice and Dylan Wade Butler were each sentenced to seven to 50 years in prison.
In November 2013, Alfred Wright’s car broke down in Jasper, Texas. He began walking for help and was found dead one week later with his ear cut off and his eye missing. Police claimed that Wright was eaten by an animal after taking drugs. They arrested his drug dealer, Shane Hadnot. However, his family believes that he was lynched because he dated a white woman.
In August 2014, Lennon Lacy, 17, was hung to death in Bladenboro, North Carolina. The state’s medical examiner ruled the death a suicide, but his family believed he was lynched. Lacy dated a 31-year-old white woman and some in the small town did not approve the relationship. Lacy was found dead in the woods after going on a midnight run. The FBI is still investigating.
In January 2014, Garrick Hopkins, 60, and Carl Hopkins, Jr. 61, of West Virginia were killed by Rodney Bruce Black, 62. Black said he thought they were breaking into the building, but some believe the shooting was racially motivated.