Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Another "Suicide"



They laid Sandra Bland to rest on Saturday.....She was the Black female activist who died in Texas under mysterious circumstances that was ruled a suicide... Now here we have the case of Rexdale Henry...A Native American activist who at 53 years old was found dead in his jail cell after a simular traffic stop in Philadelphia ,Mississippi...

Remember that town? Philadelphia,Mississippi, where a generation ago in 1964...Two white activists and a local Black activist vanished after being released from a local jail..An FBI investigation discovered their bodies buried under a dam some months later..They had been murdered by members of the local Ku Klux Klan...10 members of the Klan, including the Deputy Sherrif all went to prison for the crime...

So here we are in 2015 and we have another "Mysterious death"

Rexdale W. Henry, 53, was recently found dead inside the Neshoba County Jail in Philadelphia, Mississippi, on July 14th...The day after Sandra Bland was found dead in her jail cell in Texas..

According to WTOK, detention officers found Rexdale Henry’s body around 10 a.m.; he was last seen alive 30 minutes earlier. The state crime lab in Jackson conducted an autopsy and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is looking into the case.

Funeral services for Rexdale  Henry took place July 19 in Bogue Chitto. A few days later, his body was flown to Florida for an independent autopsy paid for by anonymous donors.
 
Rexdale Henry, a member of the Choctaw tribe and a lifelong community activist, coached stickball and had been a candidate for the Choctaw Tribal Council from Bogue Chitto the week before his arrest on July 9 for failure to pay a fine.
 
Helping with the family’s independent probe are civil-rights activists John Steele, a close friend of Henry’s, and Diane Nash, a cofounder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, as well as Syracuse University law professors Janis McDonald and Paula Johnson of the school’s Cold Case Justice Initiative.
 
At a time when the nation is focused on the terrible circumstances of the brutal death of Sandra Bland, it is critical to expose the many ways in which Black Americans, Native Americans and other minorities are being arrested for minor charges and end up dead in jail cells,” Ms. McDonald said in a statement.
 
Rexdale Henry’s arrest came one day after 39-year-old Jonathan Sanders died after a police stop in nearby Clarke County, which MBI is also investigating. (I wrote about this last week...("The Horse Trainers Death")
 
As I said ,Rexdale Henry’s death occurred one day after Sandra Bland, an African American woman, was found hanging in Texas’ Waller County Jail. Authorities ruled Sandra Bland’s death a suicide.
 
Another Mississippi man, Troy Goode, died while in police custody in Southaven on July 18; Goode was white.
 
Information from a SNCC email listserv states of Rexdale Henry: “His family wants to know what or who caused their healthy, fifty-three year old loved one to die in that cell.”
Activists also point to the death of Michael Deangelo McDougle, also in the Neshoba County Jail, less than a year ago, in November 2014, and invoke the Mississippi Burning murders that took place during Freedom Summer of 1964.
 
Something smells to high heaven here...
 
On June 21 of that year, local authorities took three civil-rights activists—James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Mickey Schwerner—to the Neshoba County Jail (it has since been moved) on minor charges before the trio disappeared; the activists’ bodies were discovered in an earthen dam 44 days after they went missing.
 
John Steele was a child when Goodman, Chaney and Schwerner visited Steele’s family home, shortly before their disappearance.
 
“Mr. Henry was a dedicated family man and the medicine man for his Choctaw community of Bogue Chitto,” Steele said through a statement.
 
A private autopsy is currently under way, but the results have yet to be revealed.
Supporters say the results of the independent autopsy will be made public when it is complete.
 
There is definitely something sinister afoot here...And writing this up as another "suicide" is not going to wash with me or any thinking person.

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