Mississippi Black Man Who Mysteriously Died Was Decapitated, Lawyer Says

Courtesy Benjamin Crump's Instagram account
Courtesy Benjamin Crump's Instagram account

Rasheem Carter—a Black man from Mississippi who was found dead last year, allegedly after telling cops he was worried about being harmed—was decapitated, his family and their lawyers said Monday.

“What this tells us is that this was a nefarious act, this was an evil act. Somebody murdered Rasheem Carter,” famed civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump alleged. “And we cannot let them get away with this. I mean when you look at these pictures taken at the autopsy, it tells you that there’s nothing natural about this. It screams out for justice.”

Hours before the 25-year-old’s mysterious disappearance in early October, Carter had gone to the Taylorsville Police Department for help after he expressed to his mother over the phone that he was being followed by white men, his mom, Tiffany Carter, previously said.

While authorities initially said there was no evidence of foul play, Crump said an independent autopsy—and the fact his spinal cord was found in a different location from the rest of his remains—suggests otherwise.

“We understand they believe they may have discovered some other remains of his body that they have not disclosed to use yet,” Crump said at the Monday press conference.

Family Claims Cop Who Killed Unarmed Black Teen in Car Was Never in Danger

Neither the Taylorsville Police Department nor the Smith County Sheriff’s Department immediately responded to requests for comment.

Carter’s family, accompanied by Crump and local attorney Carlos Moore, are now demanding that the U.S. Department of Justice intervene in the case.

For months, Tiffany Carter has been calling for a closer look at how her son, whose remains were found in a wooded area on Nov. 2 of last year, died—and she’s blamed local police for failing to prevent his death.

“He was being chased by three truckloads of people. He went to the police. They should have tried to track down who were in those trucks,” Crump insisted in front of the Jackson, Mississippi, U.S. District Court.

On Monday, Tiffany read a text message from Carter in which he worried that a colleague at work “got these guys wanting to kill me.”

He went missing shortly after sending that message, Crump said. “And then his remains were found with his head dismembered from his body, his spinal cord separated from his head, and his other body parts are still missing. Tiffany deserves answers,” he added.

According to accounts by the family to local media, Carter did not receive his usual ride home from work in Taylorsville, Mississippi, on Oct. 1 of last year, and had to leave on foot.

When he reached out to his family that weekend, he was worried, they said.

“He talked to his mama on the phone on October 2 and he was in a panic mode,” Carter’s aunt Marnee Tompkins told the Jackson Advocate.

Carter, father to a 6-year-old, had reportedly asked for help from police in person on Oct. 1 and Oct. 2 at the urging of his mother. At the station, he asked for a ride to Laurel—where he was staying at a Motel 8—and told them he was afraid of being harmed, family has said.

“He told them that someone was trying to harm him and I heard him when he said that but they told me that he never said someone was trying to harm him,” Tiffany Carter told the Vicksburg Daily News. “Little did they know I was on the phone when he said it. He told me on the phone personally that it was three white trucks full of white men.”

By the time a friend was able to pick him up from the police station on the afternoon of Oct. 2, Carter was nowhere to be found, according to the Vicksburg Daily News. And one month later, his remains were finally discovered.

“To [authorities], he never seemed to be in any distress or anything and he never mentioned anything about being in immediate danger,” Smith County Sheriff Joel Houston told the Vicksburg Daily News in November. “They offered him a phone call and he said he had a phone and they even offered him a charger but the charger that was available didn’t fit his phone, so he was just trying to find a ride back to Laurel when he came in contact with police.”

After Carter’s remains were found, the Smith County Sheriff’s Office said that they had “no reason to believe foul play was involved, but the case is still under investigation.”

The last video image of Carter in the area was from a local landowner’s camera with a stick in his hand, according to the Vicksburg Daily News.

“It looks like he knows that someone is after him and it looks like he has a stick in his hand so I don’t know if someone was chasing him but he has bruises and a gash on the hairline,” Tiffany also told the paper.

On Monday, the crowd called for justice, chanting: “Somebody seen what happened to Rasheem!”

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