The New Black Panther Party marched to the Sabine Courthouse in Hemphfield, Texas to make some serious allegations regarding the death of Alfred Wright. The New Panthers caused a big stir in the city of Hemphill by visibly carrying weapons which are rumored to have been unloaded.
The rally was to call attention to the case of Alfred Wright of Jasper, TX . Wright, who, after going missing for several days, was found dead and his death ruled an drug overdose, despite the fact that he was found with his throat cut, a missing ear, several missing teeth and some of his clothing removed. According to his family, had no history of drug use.
Unfortunately, wherever the NBPP go, many white people are quick to label them a hate group on par with the Ku Klux Klan. That parallel may be unjustified as the same people have granted that same label to groups like the NAACP and the now defunct ACORN. In other words, being angry is not the same as being hateful. Trying to get to the bottom of a possible lynching is worth rallying for.
Mention The New Black Panther Party and their mere name and presence causes controversy. The sight of armed black people, shouting "black power" was guaranteed to make their local newscast:
Citizens find Black Panther rally distasteful, unnecessary
"It's normal for me to see blacks and whites together but now we have all this KKK, Black Panther stuff. It's ridiculous like what is going on in Hemphill because we're all hand in hand here," Hemphill resident Brittany Smith said.
A Ku Klux Klan rally planned for this upcoming Saturday has been canceled.
I can't help but wonder if the citizens of Hempfield would have found a Klan rally just as distasteful and unnecessary as the NBPP rally.
The NBPP allege that Sheriff Maddox, the official in charge of the initial investigation into Wright's death is directly involved in the case. They state outright that Wright had some sort of relationship with the Sheriff’s daughter. They do not disclose what they feel the the nature of that relationship might have been and leave it open to speculation. However it is more than implied that the sheriff had reason to be angry about this relationship.
The NBPP further claim that upon meeting with him, Sheriff Maddox lied to Wright's parents regarding White's whereabouts. They also accuse the Sheriff of delaying the search for White and deliberately keeping the searches from the area where Wright's body was eventually found.
The New Black Panther Party challenged Wright's killers and Sheriff Maddox to to come out in broad daylight.
So what makes you think we think y'all are gonna do some kinda justice for Alfred Wright? Come on, we're not stupid here. Not one person who was on the scene has been investigated to this day.
Sheriff Maddox, you should come on outside. Peeking out the window. Look at you. We see you. Come on, you got all those guards.
Y'all so cold y’all take a man by himself in the middle of the night. Slit his throat. Poke his eyes out. Take his teeth out his mouth.
But what about now?
You wanna lynch somebody. 2013, 2014, You think you're gonna get away with that? A bunch of cowards.
You think we don't know it's a full fledged coverup?
How the hell is a man with his throat slit, eyeballs taken out, tongue cut out, teeth pulled out, ears cut off, a drug overdose?
It seems the results from the second autopsy, so far, concur with the allegations of the NBPP that Wright's death was caused by a violent trauma to his body although the toxicology report has yet to be released.
Lee Ann Grossberg, who was hired by the legal team representing Alfred Wright's family, said even though Wright's body was found in an advanced state of decomposition, there was enough physical trauma to suggest some type of homicidal violence.
"Based on the investigation I have a high index of suspicion that this is a homicide," Grossberg said."I base that opinion on circumstances surrounding the death, how and where the body was found, and my findings at autopsy.
The NBPP allegations of mishandled or deliberately withheld evidence, particularly a missing store surveillance camera, are also congruent with other findings.
Ryan MacLeod, a former Galveston County prosecutor, says he feels law enforcement has mishandled the investigation.
MacLeod says he has asked law enforcement several times for evidence in this case, including surveillance footage from the CL&M package store where Wright was last seen alive.
"What's also important is that there is a camera directly in the middle of that store where Alfred's truck was parked and that camera--if you go back there today--it's missing," MacLeod said.
At the time of his death, Wright was already married to a white woman. Thus far Alfred Wright has been portrayed as an upright family man. If the NBPP are looking to merely smear the Sheriff and uphold Wright as a model citizen, then they do Wright's memory no favor by pointing out that he may have cheated on his wife.
It stands to reason that despite any controversy engendered by their name, they truly want to see Wright's killers found and held accountable, as they say, “By any means necessary.” The NBPP members claim that justice has not only been denied Alfred White but that other black lives are endangered by the same people who killed Alfred white: a killer or group of killers, possibly white, possibly Klan members and worse: possibly members of law enforcement.
Regardless of how you feel about the NBPP, their allegations and any evidence they may have should not to be taken lightly.