|Frederick James Carter|
Soulclap to JuJuBe for letting me know about the controversial case of Frederick Jermaine Carter. Last month 26-year old Frederick Jermaine Carter was found hanging from an oak tree in Greenwood, Mississippi. Prior to his death, Carter’s stepfather, a painter, said he and Carter were working in Greenwood and that Carter wandered off after he was instructed to go and get some tools.
The county sheriff ruled the death a suicide and most white folks in Mississippi agreed with him. These folks note that Carter had spent eight months in the state mental hospital in 2008, and tried to kill himself by drug overdose and cutting himself.
County Coroner Debra Sanders said that the autopsy’s preliminary finding of suicide is consistent with what was observed at the scene: that “Carter dragged the frame of an old table from one side of the tree to the other, propped it against the tree trunk, and then tied himself to the lowest limb.” In addition, there were no other footprints by the tree.
Most Black folks in Mississippi disagree. After all, Greenwood is about 12 miles from Money, Miss., the place where 14-year old Emmett Till was lynched after he allegedly made remarks to a white woman. The Black community has a long memory of the horror known as lynching in America.
State Rep. Willie Perkins, president of the Leflore County branch of the NAACP, says that group also "will keep a high scrutiny and watch on any investigative report regarding what was the cause of death."
"There are a lot of concerns there, No. 1 that this individual could not have (hanged) himself without the assistance of someone, if it’s being declared a suicide," he says. "Why would someone from Sunflower County come to North Greenwood, the predominantly white housing area of Greenwood? Why would someone that far away come and hang themselves in North Greenwood by a river? That does not pass the smell test to me."Another local elected official, state Sen. David Jordan, says the African American community in Greenwood is “very much concerned.”
"This is in a white wealthy area, and Black people just don’t go over there," he says. "There’s not a single Black that’s talked to us who believes that he hanged himself."I suspect that we will never know the full story of this man's death. However, I do know that America is not yet post-racial.
What are your thoughts on the Frederick Jermaine Carter case? Was it a lynching or a suicide?