In a haunting reminder of the Jim Crow South, a Black man, who has been missing since March 2nd, was found hanged in Claiborne County, Mississippi. Otis Byrd is the name of the man found. The FBI and Mississippi Bureau of Investigation are looking into the matter. Though authorities are saying that the possibility of suicide has not been ruled out, violence done against Byrd is the most prevalent assumption among people in the Black community.
Otis Byrd was last seen being dropped off at the Riverwalk Casino in Vicksburg by a friend on the 2nd. His family reported him missing to the Claiborne County Sheriff’s Department six days later. The MBI received a missing person’s report from the Claiborne County Sheriff’s Department on the 13th. Law enforcement reported finding what is believed to be his body (they have yet to identify the body) hanging about a half mile away from his last known residence on Thursday morning. NAACP was the first to report Byrd’s disappearance and the organization has sent a request to the Department of Justice to get involved in the investigation.
Otis Byrd was not, necessarily, an angel. According to records from the Mississippi Department of Corrections, Byrd served over 25 years in prison for the February 1980 murder of Lucille Trim in Claiborne County. He reportedly robbed her of $101. He was convicted of capital murder in October of that year, but was granted parole in November 2006. Though the mainstream news outlets will use this to imply that Byrd had his fate coming, but no one deserves to be hanged. If it was done by angry White people, it was really a modern-day lynching.