State News

Teen's hanging death spurs march in Bladenboro

Posted December 13, 2014
Updated December 14, 2014

— Hundreds of protesters joined with the state chapter of the NAACP in a march in Bladenboro to call for a thorough federal investigation of a black teen whose death was ruled a suicide.

District Attorney Jon David said Friday that he requested the FBI investigation after the family of Lennon Lee Lacy repeatedly called for an outside review.

However, state NAACP President Rev. William Barber said his organization was responsible for requesting the FBI investigation.

Lacy was found last summer hanging from a noose fashioned from two belts and tied to a swing set in Bladenboro. Family members and NAACP officials have called his death a "possible race-based homicide" and said local authorities rushed to reach a conclusion and didn't fully investigate the case.

"There are things that have happened that have not been explained to me or the community and we deserve that," said Claudia Lacy, Lennon's mother.

Barber said the NAACP would not leave Bladenboro until everyone was satisfied that Lennon Lacy's death had been thoroughly investigated.

Israel Burden, one of Lacy's schoolmates, said he does not agree with the demonstrators.

"I think it was a suicide," he said. "Even though it was kind of weird the way it happened."

Barber says the group wanted the FBI to look at the case because the local investigation left too many unanswered questions.

"I just hope and pray that the truth will come out one day," Claudia Lacy said.

The Bladenboro police chief and the Clayton County district attorney said they welcome a second look at the investigation.


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  • Ashley Moore Dec 15, 2014
    user avatar

    Regardless of the child's skin color, this whole thing was not handled properly. The suicide ruling came way too quickly. I don't know that I would march, but, for once, I am glad the NAACP pushed to get this case reopened. I hope they get the person who did this to that poor child.

  • nanab Dec 15, 2014

    this is an easy one...whose finger pints are on the belts around his neck and the swing bar? If his finger prints are on the bar and on the belts, then what's the problem? If they are wiped clean, then you have a problem. So WRAL, why don't you ask the right questions??

  • Brandi Gaenzle Dec 15, 2014
    user avatar

    Ironically this is only an issue now after all these other so called race crimes. Where was this re-opening of this before all this came about?!?

  • jackaroe123 Dec 15, 2014

    The FBI might not be investigating this at all if it weren't for the insistence of the NAACP, led by Rev. Barber. It seems most people are in agreement that the original conclusion was hasty and suspect and that it is right that it is being looked into further. Whatever your overall opinion of Rev Barber, you should recognize his involvement here as a positive. The axiom about a broken clock being right twice a day is something you have to admit if you expect anyone to take you seriously the rest of the time.

  • Karen Orndorff Dec 15, 2014
    user avatar

    Rev. Barber is a racist, he will try anything to get people to believe his words, he is not of God, you all be careful following this sheep in wolves clothing.

  • SAY 'WHAT" ONE MORE TIME! Dec 15, 2014

    If I had any situation I was unhappy with and wanted more done about it the LAST person I would allow in would be William Barber. I can't think of a more efficient way to discredit your cause than to have him blabbing his usual racist demands. Anyone with half a brain knows he's a race-baiting joke of an advocate for people of color.