Family Of Murder Clarksdale Mayoral Candidate Demanding FBI InvestigateBy Jeffrey Hess | Published 09 May 2013 04:15pm |
The family of a murdered Clarksdale mayoral candidate is calling his death 'torturous' and demanding the FBI investigate. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports people close to Marco McMillian say he feared that his run for office could cost him his life.
Marco McMillian was in the middle of a run for Mayor of Clarksdale when his beaten and burned body was found on a Mississippi River levee in February.
McMillian was an openly gay man; something McMillian's god father Carter Womack says he knew could trouble the community.
"He shared with me two or three weeks before he was found dead, he said 'Charter there are people in this community that don't want me in this race and trying to get me out of it. If you get a call that I am missing or that I have been found dead in a field somewhere understand that people are trying to get me out of this race. Because I am addressing issues and talking about things nobody wants to talk about," Womack said.
McMillian's family feels frustrated that police have not revealed more details about the crime even though they say they have a suspect, Lawrence Reed, in custody.
A spokesman for the Coahoma County Sheriff could not be reached for comment.
Sharon Letterman-Hicks with the National Black Justice Coalition says McMillian's race and sexuality as well as the brutality of the attack raises questions about the murder.
McMillian was beaten, stabbed and set on fire.
"So by virtue of the climate of Mississippi, the histoircal climate, and now to do with double oppression of the victim being black and being gay, we are just not comfortable with the way the investigation is being run," Hicks said.
Both McMillian and his alleged murderer are African-American.
Letterman-Hicks says the federal government should take over the investigation in part because it is not a hate crime in Mississippi to murder someone because of their sexuality, but it is against federal law.
The FBI says it is monitoring the case but has not yet become directly involved in the investigation.
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