The brutal lynching and murder of Black Americans is almost as American as apple pie.: Ben Crump: The DOJ Must Not Look Away from the Mississippi LYNCHING of Rasheed Carter | VIDEOs

    *The horrific imagery is long seared into the minds of Black Americans and imprinted in the history of the American South: A Black man hunted down, beaten bloody, run over, hung from a pecan tree, dragged behind a pickup truck, or shot in broad daylight as he jogs through his own neighborhood. The brutal lynchings and murders of Black Americans are almost as American as apple pie.

    You’d think that in the year 2023, these horrific accounts would be well in our past –– unfortunate reminders of what used to happen, not what does. Yet, just last October, 25-year-old Rasheem Carter went missing in rural Mississippi after twice reporting to the Taylorsville Police Department that he was being hunted by a group of white men in pickup trucks. It was the last time he was seen alive.

    Rasheem was a Fayette, Mississippi, resident who routinely worked contracting jobs in neighboring towns to provide for his young daughter and earn a living after his business closed during the pandemic. He dreamed of reopening his restaurant, Cali’s Express, by saving money through odd jobs, reports MSNBC.

    A certified millwright and welder, in late September he picked up a job in Taylorsville, Mississippi. Just a few days later, Rasheem experienced a threat that all Black mothers fear for their sons — being chased by a group of white men in a pickup truck. He sent a text to his mother letting her know what was going on and she immediately became terrified for his safety and well-being.

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    At her encouragement and out of fear for his life, Rasheem went to the Taylorsville Police Department twice to plead for help, and according to Chief Gabe Horn, he also filed a police report. He was so shaken that he asked the police for a ride back to his hotel. But by the department’s own account, they brushed him off, saying they’re not a “taxi service.”

    After his second and final visit to the police department seeking help, on Oct. 2 he called his mother, warning her that his phone battery was dangerously low. He dropped a pin to his location so a family friend from a neighboring town could pick him up and get him home safely. When the friend arrived a few hours later, Rasheem was nowhere to be found.

    The last image of Rasheem, eerily caught on a hunting camera the afternoon he went missing, shows him running, partially clothed and muddy. After viewing the photo, Rasheem’s mother knew in her soul that her son was “running for his life.” It’s the last image she has of him, burned into her memory forever.

    Rasheem Carter was found dead in Mississippi a month after he warned his mother that he was being chased by white men hurling racial slurs, the family demanded a federal investigation after local authorities said they had “no reason” to suspect foul play in his death.

    — ChudsOfTikTok (@ChudsOfTikTok) March 14, 2023

    On Nov. 2 — a month to the day that he went missing — Rasheem Carter’s skeletal remains were found dismembered and scattered in the woods just a few miles from the Taylorsville Police Department where he twice sought help. His skull was severed in half. Despite those disturbing facts, police have continued to claim that no foul play is suspected.

    There should be no doubt that this was an act of murder, a hate crime — and a Mississippi lynching. But the Taylorsville Police Department and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations continue to ignore the cold, hard facts and railroad the family at every turn.

    Given the recent history of so-called investigations into the violent deaths of Black men in Mississippi, police inaction is not a surprise. According to a 2021 Washington Post report, there have been at least eight suspected lynchings of Black men and teens in the state since 2000. Most were brushed aside as suicides despite evidence to the contrary, and when law enforcement was pressed, they simply responded that they couldn’t comment.

    As one civil rights leader told the Post, “Lynchings in Mississippi never stopped.”

    It’s clear as day that Mississippi either isn’t capable or more likely, is unwilling to investigate when a Black man is brutally killed or dies from unnatural causes — like being decapitated and having his skull sliced in half.

    The U.S. Department of Justice must investigate the circumstances surrounding Rasheem’s death. There are most certainly clues, and we need the highest levels of law enforcement to administer justice. Not just for Rasheem, but for the countless Black men and boys who have been victims of white supremacy. For Raynard Johnson, who was found hanging from a pecan tree. For Roy Veal, who was found hanging from a pecan tree with a hood over his head. For Craig Anderson, who, according to law enforcement officials, was run over in a parking lot by 10 teenagers after they decided, in the words of one of the attackers, to “go f— with some n——.” And for Phillip Carroll who was found hanging from a tree, reportedly with his hands tied behind his back.

    Rasheem’s cries for help were ignored. It’s time for the Justice Department to step in and ensure that the cries for justice in his name are not.

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