Raleigh‑‑The NC NAACP held a Press Conference Tuesday at Pullen Memorial Church to express concerns over the suspected hanging death of 17-year old Lennon Lacy. The initial investigation by the organization reportedly raised many questions leading them to believe that the case was more involved that being labeled a suicide resulting from depression.
NC NAACP President, Rev. William Barber, standing with the mother and brother of the deceased teen, stated “No one knows for sure what happened that terrible night. What has concerned us and the family is the local authorities’ seeming desire for quick answers.
District Attorney Jon David’s office released a statement in response to Tuesday’s Press Conference, stating that his office has not been presented with any evidence to suggest that there was any foul play involved in Lacy’s death, but can’t comment any further because the investigation remains open.
David went on to indicate that a comprehensive investigation by the SBI and the Bladenboro Police Department has been well underway, emphasizing that he has absolute confidence in both agencies and that his office and investigating agencies remain receptive to reviewing any and all information that would she light on the circumstance surrounding Lady’s death.
Rev. Barber questioned, “If Lacy had been white and found in a predominantly black neighborhood, would there have been such a quick determination his death was a suicide. He also questioned why Lacy’s mother telling an investigator her son was “depressed” about the recent death of his uncle was given so much weight in ruling Lacy’s death a suicide, and why her statement upon seeing his body, “They have killed my son” was not given such weight.
Neither Rev. Barber nor the Lacy’s family accepts the determination that Lacy killed himself until a thorough investigation is completed. Questions still remain as to why Lacy would have killed himself the night before his first high school football game of the season, why he was wearing old, laceless shoes that did not fit and not his sneakers, and why he would have killed himself in the middle of a predominantly white mobile home park?
A forensics expert working the the NC NAACP on the case said that while there were questions about what looked like injuries to Lacy’s head and face, she now believes that was a result of the embalming proves at the funeral home.
Lacy’s mother, Claudia, said she felt the SBI investigators interrogated her as a suspect in her son’s death as they tried to confirm the suicide as his cause of death. “I want to know why does the investigator want to make me out to be a liar?” Ms. Lacy said. “As a mother of a deceased son, I just want to know what happened to Lennon Lee Lacy.”
Rev. Barber said the family is prepared to accept the ruling of suicide if they feel the investigation is complete and the evidence validates suicide as the cause of death.