FBI Probes Hanging Death of Black North Carolina Teen

FBI Probes Hanging Death of Black North Carolina Teen

Lennon Lacy, 17, was found hanging from a park swing set by a dog leash and a belt on Aug. 29.

Published December 12, 2014

The family of Lennon Lacy, a Black teen found hanging from a trailer park swing set by a dog leash in a small North Carolina town, is demanding further investigation into his death, AP reports.

Local investigators and the state medical examiner both initially ruled the death a suicide, but Claudia Lacy, the 17-year-old’s mother, has major doubts.

For one, the family claims that the dog leash and belt that Lacy was found hanging from on Aug. 29 were not his. They also claimed that the shoes found on Lacy were 1.5 sizes too small and did not belong to him.

"When I saw him, I just knew automatically he didn't do that to himself," she told AP in a recent interview. "If he was going to harm himself, his demeanor would have changed. His whole routine, everything, his attitude, everything would have changed."

To demand a detailed investigation, the family has teamed up with the state chapter of the NAACP to reportedly organize a march in Bladenboro, the town where Lacy died, on Saturday.

"We don't know what happened that terrible night," said the Rev. William Barber, president of the state chapter of the NAACP. "It is possible that a 17-year-old excited about life could commit suicide. The family is prepared to accept the truth. They're not prepared to accept this theory that's been posited with a rush to a conclusion of suicide so quickly. We have said there are far too many unanswered questions. The family deserves more."

Hubert Kinlaw, the local county coroner, said he signed a death certificate ruling the cause of death a suicide because the form he received from the state medical examiner was signed as such. But now Kinlaw is also questioning Lacy’s cause of death.

"How did it happen? How did he wind up there? These are all questions that are out there," he told AP.

A spokeswoman from the FBI office in Charlotte reportedly confirmed that the agency was reviewing Lacy’s death.

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(Photo: Lennon Lacy via Instagram)

Written by Martha Waggoner, Associated Press

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