The North Carolina NAACP will host a march in Bladenboro Saturday, to honor the memory of Lennon Lacy— the teenager found dead from hanging late this summer— and to bring awareness to the case.
In a conference call with reporters Thursday, NC NAACP president the Rev. William J. Barber said the NAACP and Lacy’s family sent a letter to several state and federal elected officials, asking them to add their voices to the call for a full federal investigation into Lacy’s death.
Lennon Lacy’s mother, Claudia Lacy, said she does not believe her son committed suicide as local investigators quickly surmised. She says people from the small community in Bladenboro have approached her to say they don’t think her son’s death was a suicide also. The NAACP, numerous attorneys and Lacy’s family say that local law enforcement did not follow even minimal guidelines for investigating a death scene.
The Rev. Barber and Durham attorney Heather Rattelade met with U.S. Attorney Thomas Walker last month to present evidence they say warrants further investigation into Lacy’s death. Barber said Walker and his staff have been receptive in accepting leads and are evaluating the case, and that Walker has put them in touch with an FBI agent.
“This is not a cold case,” Barber said. “We don’t want, in 20 or 30 years, to be saying we should have done this.”
Claudia Lacy remembered her son Lennon as a “gentle giant,” compassionate and mature beyond his 17 years.
“He had passion for life and cared about people and their feelings,” Claudia Lacy said. “He respected his teachers and neighbors, he was the type of child who would ask questions, he was inquisitive about what he saw and didn’t understand. He never saw an enemy, everyone was his friend.”
The march will take place at 10 a.m. at 521 Martin Luther King Jr. Street, at the First Baptist Church in Bladenboro.