September 29, 2008
Dragging Death of Black Man in Paris TX
Paris, TX is back in the news. Villagers remember Shaquanda Cotton was unjustly sentenced in Paris, TX in a manner that was racially-charged. Now we learn that the Paris law enforcement officials are covering up a dragging death of a Black man ... similar to the infamous James Byrd Jr. dragging death in another part of Texas over 10 years ago.
Brandon McLelland was found on the side of a road outside Paris on September 16th. Family members were told he was hit by a vehicle and dragged 60-feet. Officials said the vehicle fled the scene.
But the 24-year-old's body was dismembered and that leads relatives to believe whatever happened was intentional. "The back of his head was split about this wide," Jacqueline explained motioning with her hand. "And right here over his heart was a spot about as big as my hand."
We learn today that two white men have been charged with his murder. Charles Crostley and Shannon Finley were with Brandon the night he died. The vicious nature of the death alone has a number of people convinced it was a hate crime.
Jacqueline McLelland worries that authorities will avoid investigating her son's death as hate crime, because of bad publicity and the town's racial history. "I feel like if a lot of people hadn't have been listening and paying attention to what was going on maybe they would have just swept this under the rug."
Jacqueline says nobody's child should have to suffer and go through what her son did before he died. I agree with her. I wonder when the people of Jasper TX will take these racially charged incidents seriously?