Was a Black Man Lynched in a Racially Divided Texas Town?October 24th, 2008
Was a Black man lynched in a racially divided Texas town?
A racially divided town’s worse fears are brewing, as evidence shows two White men might have picked up and then mutilated and dismembered a 24-year-old Black man in Paris, Texas. The victim’s body was discovered in the middle of a busy road last month. Law enforcement officials had first declared Brandon Clelland’s death a hit and run by an unidentified driver. However, forensics performed by the Texas Rangers found blood from Mr. McClelland and other DNA evidence on the undercarriage of the truck, which has the victim’s family calling the death a “Jasper-style” lynching. The term refers to the murder of a Black man in Jasper, Texas, in 1998. “They tied my son to that truck and dragged him until his body parts were detached,” said Jacqueline McClelland, the victim’s mother in an interview with The Final Call. “His body was so destroyed that it could not even be embalmed by the funeral home. This is a hate crime.” The Lamar County District Attorney disputes that race was a factor in McClelland’s death because he was friends with alleged assailants Shannon Finley and Charles Ryan Crostley. Both men are 27-years-old. However, angry family members and community activists are demanding a thorough investigation into a possible hate crime they say parallels the lynching of James Byrd Jr., in Jasper, Texas, which is several hours south of Paris.