What We Know As Family Claims ‘Lynching’

  • Rasheem Carter’s family have claimed his death was a modern day “lynching”.
  • Carter’s family says he said he was being followed by white men in trucks before he went missing.
  • But police say they have “no reason” to believe foul play was involved in the young black man’s death.

The family of Rasheem Carter – a 25-year-old black man from Fayette, Mississippi who was found dead last year – have claimed his death was a modern day “lynching”. They accused local police of not investigating the crime and said Carter said he was being followed by white men in trucks before he disappeared.

But police say they have “no reason” to believe there was foul play and have suspected animals may have torn his body up.

As protesters and his family call for a federal investigation, here’s what we know about Carter’s death.

Carter feared being killed in October 2022

Carter’s mother, Tiffany, said during a news conference Monday that her son called her on Oct. 1, 2022 — the day before he was reported missing.

“My son told me it was three truckloads of white people trying to kill him,” she said, explaining that she told him to go to the local police station for help.

She told local broadcaster WDAM in December that her son wanted to go back to Laurel, where he lived, but police hadn’t driven him back.

“You didn’t help him,” she said. “He asked for help, but they didn’t help.”

Taylorsville Police Chief Gabe Horn later told WDAM that he did not have a police officer escort him home due to a lack of manpower.

“He told the officer that night that he and his roommates had a verbal disagreement and he felt threatened and that was it,” Horn told the outlet. He said officers offered to let him stay with the police department, but Carter left.

Sheriff Joel Houston of the Smith County Sheriff’s Office, which is leading the investigation into Carter’s death, told the Vicksburg Daily News in a report published in November that Carter did not say he was in danger when he went to the police.

“To them, he never seemed in distress or anything, and he never mentioned anything about being in imminent danger,” Houston told the news outlet.

“They offered him a call and he said he had a phone and they even offered him a charger but the charger available didn’t fit his phone so he was just trying to find a ride to Laurel when he came in contact with the police,” Houston said.

The Smith County Sheriff’s Office and the Taylorsville Police Department did not immediately respond to insider requests for comment Tuesday.

After his call, Tiffany Carter said her son texted her to say he and a business owner – whose identity she didn’t reveal – were not “on equal terms”.

“If something happened to me, he is responsible for it. I’m too smart mom he got these guys to kill me,” Rasheem Carter wrote, according to his mother.

Carter was reported missing on October 2

On October 2, 2022, Carter’s family reported him missing to the Laurel Police Department in Mississippi, who said in a Facebook post that Carter was last seen at a local Super 8 hotel that day.

Laurel Police Chief Tommy Cox confirmed to Insider on Tuesday that the department was told at the time Carter was staying at the hotel for work and was traveling to Taylorsville, about 20 miles away, for his job.

According to the missing persons report, Carter’s mother told police her son had warned in a previous phone call that “three white trucks full of men [were] trying to kill him,” Cox told Insider.

Cox told Insider that police were “pretty sure” Carter went missing in nearby Taylorsville, and later confirmed that’s where he was last seen.

Carter’s remains were discovered in Taylorsville a month later

The Smith County Sheriff’s Office said it found Carter’s remains on November 2, 2022 south of Taylorsville in a wooded area.

“At this time we have no reason to believe foul play was involved, but the case is still under investigation,” the department said in a Facebook post at the time.

It added that other law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, were assisting with the “ongoing investigation.”

The sheriff’s office continued, “All details have been released solely to the mother, and if she wishes further information to be released, or if we find anything else the public needs to know, we will release that information at that time.” “

The FBI and Mississippi Bureau of Investigation did not immediately respond to insider requests for comment Tuesday, but an FBI spokesman told NBC News it was not currently involved in the case.

Demonstrators are calling for more investigations

In late December and February, family members and other protesters demonstrated near the police department, accusing police of failing to help Carter when he asked them for help, according to WDAM.

“You leave a man out there 31 days, you knew he was out there,” Tiffany Carter told WDAM in December 2022. “They knew he was out there. They have done nothing to me but feed me lies about my son.”

Carter’s family claims the man was “dismembered” and “murdered.”

Attorney Ben Crump, representing Carter’s family, told reporters Monday that an independent autopsy found Carter’s head was “disconnected” from his body and that his vertebrae and spinal cord were found elsewhere.

Other body parts are still missing, according to Crump.

“That tells us that this was a shameful act,” Crump said alongside Carter’s mother, Tiffany Carter. “It was a bad act. Someone murdered Rasheem Carter. And we cannot let them get away with it.”

Crump claimed police “failed” to help Rasheem Carter.

“What we have is a Mississippi lynching. A Mississippi lynching in 2022,” Crump said.

Rasheem Carter’s family has asked the US Department of Justice to open an investigation into his death.

Police say there is no evidence Rasheem Carter was murdered

Sheriff Houston told The Washington Post in a report published Tuesday that he welcomed the Justice Department’s involvement in the investigation.

“There is nothing in this nature that can be swept under the rug or hidden,” Houston said.

Houston also told the news agency that “there is no evidence to support any” of Rasheem Carter’s family’s claims that the man was murdered.

“There is no evidence that anyone killed him,” Houston said. “The evidence we have is consistent with what animals would do to a body.”

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