A large crowd attended, what was billed as a Community Mass Meeting, at the First Baptist Church in Bladenboro Wednesday evening related to the death of a young black man..
An NAACP attorney provided little new information about the case other than the investigation was ongoing, but there was still work to be done. He called on anyone with any information to come forward and share it.
Lennon Lacy, a 17 year old West Bladen football player, was found hanging from a wooden swing in the middle of a mobile home park in the western portion of Bladenboro in mid August, 2014.
An investigation turn up no evidence of foul play and it was ruled a suicide. The family has questioned the findings and called on the NAACP for help. They later requested the FBI do an investigation. That is where the case is today. The FBI investigation is ongoing. The attorney for NAACP pointed out that several key folks in the area had not been spoken to by an FBI agent according to his most recent information.
Recently, ESPN featured the Bladenboro story on a program ‘Outside the Lines” that left more questions than answers. The program was re-played for those in attendance at the Bladenboro meeting and reportedly will be replayed at 2:30 p.m. Thursday on an ESPN channel.
Rev. Dr. William Barber, NC NAACP President, did not attend the most recent Bladenboro meeting, but did address the group by cell phone. He was in New York. Barber praised the Lacy family and reiterated that what they want is justice. Claudia Lacy, mother of the deceased, spoke and thanked everyone for their continued support and ask that they continue to press for answers. In his closing comments, Barber said the NAACP had made a commitment to come and stay until the facts are known.
A couple of things were mentioned by one or more speakers. Lennon Lacy was reportedly threatened following an earlier robbery attempt. And, the 17 year old had a relationship with a white 31 year old mother of young children. The attorney indicated that as far as he knew, she had not been interviewed by the FBI and he reminded those in attendance she had some ‘criminal exposure’ herself. There was a comment that indicated she may have been seeing another black man and that Lennon was jealous.
Questions were raised about whether or not it was possible for the deceased to have hung himself.
The attorney indicated that there was a possibility that reward money may be available for anyone who would come forward with helpful information. That part of the investigation is still in the early stages and nothing has been finalized at this time.
Numerous questions were raised following the presentation.
Zachary Daniel, newly elected head of the West Bladen Branch of the NAACP was introduced.
Again, the attorney requested the local chapter or individuals to come forward if they know anything that may help to solve the case.
Another meeting was planned for a couple of months from now.
It was noted that Lacy was found last August, and before long it would be a year and still no answers to the question, ‘is there a murderer among us?”
Many in attendance let it be known they believe there is a murderer in the area.
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