Hanging death investigation: NAACP seeks FBI probe

Published: May. 14, 2018 at 8:17 AM CDT
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The Mississippi State Conference for the NAACP is calling for a continued investigation into the circumstances surrounding the recent hanging death of a Scott County man. Willie Jones was found hanged to death in southeastern Scott County in February. The head of Mississippi's NACCP says both the Scott County Sheriff's Department and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations have ruled the 21-year-old's death to be a suicide. The Mississippi NAACP and Willie Jones' family are calling for the FBI to examine the case.

Pasted below is a copy of a press release from the civil rights group.

The Mississippi State Conference NAACP (MS NAACP) is calling for the continued investigation of the circumstances surrounding the death of Willie Andrew Jones, Jr., an African-American man whose body was discovered hanging from a tree in the front yard of a Scott County, Mississippi residence in February of this year. MS NAACP has joined the Jones and Townsend families to request a full examination of the facts by the FBI.

"We continue to support the Jones and Townsend families' search for answers," said Charles R. Hampton, MS NAACP President. "The families deserve a complete and thorough accounting of the facts surrounding Mr. Jones' death."

Earlier this year, the MS NAACP called for a full and transparent investigation after the Scott County Sheriff's Office elected not to report the incident to the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation until the week following Jones' death. The Scott County Sheriff's office initially ruled the incident a suicide without the benefit of a full investigation.

"We want justice for Willie," said Tammie Townsend, Jones' mother. "We can't get justice without all of the facts, and we can't get all of the facts without a complete investigation." MS NAACP will continue to support the family and work with local, state, and federal law enforcement to obtain all of the facts surrounding this incident.