Mississippi police do not suspect foul play in the death of a 25-year-old black man who told his mother that people were “trying to kill him” before several white men chased him in trucks.
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who represents the family of Rasheem Carter, calls Carter the victim of “an evil act.”
Smith County police said they located Carter’s remains in a wooded area of Taylorsville, Mississippi, on November 2, a month after she was reported missing.
“At this time, we have no reason to believe foul play was involved, but the case is still under investigation,” police said the day after Carter’s body was recovered. However, Carter’s family says the pieces don’t fit, so they hired Crump, who has worked with the families of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, George Floyd and Tyree Nichols.
“This was an evil act”, Crump told reporters Monday. “Someone murdered Rasheem Carter, and we can’t let them get away with it.”
Tiffany Carter said that before her son went missing, he told her that racist white men were chasing him in three trucks 100 miles from his home in Fayette, Mississippi, where he had been hired for a welding job.
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“I have these men trying to kill me,” Carter allegedly told his mother.
The Carter family reported him as a missing person to the Laurel Police Department, which worked on the case before turning it over to Smith County officials once they learned it was out of their jurisdiction. Laurel County police said Carter never contacted them for help.
Smith County Sheriffs emphasized on Facebook that while no foul play was found, other agencies, including the FBI, have been involved in the ongoing investigation.
According to Crump, it appears that Carter’s head and spinal cord were found in different locations. Carter’s family said authorities told them wild animals might have found the dead man’s body and torn it apart. He was also missing his front teeth.
“This was not a natural death,” Crump told reporters.
Carter’s mother reportedly said her son, who is leaving behind a 7-year-old daughter, had no history of mental illness.
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation told NBC News that an autopsy was completed on February 2, but did not disclose its findings. Neither the Smith County Sheriff’s Office nor Attorney Crump’s office responded to a request for comment.