Target: Bladenboro, North Carolina police chief Chris Hunt
Goal: Thoroughly investigate the death of a young man whose tragic hanging under suspicious circumstances was written off as a suicide
The loss of a child is one of the worst things a parent could endure. Imagine if your child’s death occurred under suspicious circumstances and yet the police department failed to thoroughly investigate. For Claudia Lacy this terrible tragedy has become reality. The Bladenboro, North Carolina woman recently lost her son in what police ruled a suicide; yet Lennon Lacy was found with unexplained wounds, and had no history of depression.
In the predominantly-white town of Bladenboro racial tensions are often high. It cannot be ignored that Lennon was a black teen, recently involved in a relationship with a white woman, and that his body was found hanging from a swing set in the trailer park where he lived. Neighbors directly behind his home once hung Confederate flags in their yard beside a sign that read “Niggers keep out.” No evidence suggests these neighbors caused Lennon harm, yet their actions demonstrate a tolerance for hate-filled displays which continues to this day. Between 1882-1968 no less than 86 black people were lynched in North Carolina, and for many the specter of racism remains all too real.
Lennon played football for his high school team, and for years had worked towards his goal of playing professionally. The Guardian reports that his family, pastor and friends all described Lennon as quick to smile and offer help. He had no reason to take his own life. The undertaker who examined his body noted abrasions “across both shoulders and down the insides of both arms,” and “facial indentations over both cheeks, the chin and nose.” Police insist there is no evidence foul play was involved, and told Lennon’s family that ants left these marks on his body. He was found wearing a pair of shoes no one in his family recognized, while his prized new pair of sneakers are still missing. Investigators failed to take forensic swabs from under his fingernails, which could have confirmed whether or not he had struggled with someone, or to release his autopsy in a timely fashion. Days after his burial, Lennon’s grave was desecrated.
Lennon’s family is left with many unanswered questions. Bladenboro district attorney Jon David has assured the press that “a comprehensive investigation is well underway,” yet has also claimed that “to date we have not received any evidence of criminal wrongdoing surrounding the death.” Clearly there is much about the case which contradicts the official explanation of suicide. Demand that local law enforcement thoroughly investigate Lennon Lacy’s tragic death.
Dear Chief Hunt,
Lennon Lacy’s untimely death shocked those close to him. His body was found hanging from a swing set near his home, with wounds the undertaker described as resembling those of someone who “had been killed in a bar-room fight.” Yet from the moment police arrived on the scene it seems clear their minds were made up. Lennon killed himself, say investigators, despite their failure to conduct a legitimate investigation.
This was a young man who had everything to live for, whose death has yet to be explained. His family needs answers, and I stand alongside them in demanding that the Bladenboro police department thoroughly investigate the suspicious circumstances of young Lennon’s death.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Zscout370 via Wikimedia Commons