The FBI is investigating a case where a Black man was found hanging from a tree in Claiborne County, Mississippi yesterday (March 19).
Police have yet to release the identity of the man, but members of the local NAACP chapter said the body belongs to 54-year-old Otis Byrd, whose family reported him missing on March 2. The body was found hanging from a noose made of bed sheets just yards away from Byrd’s home.
Local police contacted the FBI to help collect forensic and investigative evidence in the case, while they work to determine whether the death was a homicide or self-inflicted.
Prior to going missing, Byrd was last seen by a friend who’d dropped him off at the Riverwalk Casino in Vicksburg, Mississippi.
The NAACP is requesting that the Department of Justice get involved in the investigation.
Peace to this family, and let’s all hope this is not a hate crime. The thought of Black bodies still being lynched in the South is a hard pill to swallow, especially considering the fact that the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday in Selma, Alabama was celebrated just weeks ago.