African-American Man Found Hanged from Tree in Bossier City, Louisiana

HeadlineJul 11, 2000

An African-American man was found hanged from a tree near a park yesterday in Bossier City, Louisiana—gagged, handcuffed and wearing women’s clothes. Police said the death was accidental and sexual in nature. Mike Halphen, spokesperson for the Bossier City police, would give few details about the case, but said specifically the man was not lynched. Television reporters said the man was about 19, wearing women’s clothes. They also said he was gagged and handcuffed. Halphen refused to comment on the clothes, gag or handcuffs. It was the second hanging of a young black man in recent weeks. The other was June 16 in Kokomo, Mississippi, when Raynard Johnson was found hanging from a tree in his yard. Medical examiners declared it a suicide. The Rev. Jesse Jackson called it a lynching, because the teenager had been dating a white girl. This weekend, Jackson led nearly 1,000 people in a blistering sun to march along the country road in southern Mississippi and call for justice in the mysterious death of 17-year-old Raynard Johnson. The march ended hours later at what Jackson called “the hanging tree,” the small pecan tree on the front lawn of the Johnson family home where the popular youth was found hanging that night of June 16.

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