Issue Update Press Release

Ferguson Black Lives Matter Activists and NAACP Continue Demand for Answers in Alleged Hanging Death of Son

January 3, 2019

MEDIA CONTACT: Malik Russell/mrussell@naacpnet.org

FERGUSON, MO—(January 3, 2019)—The St. Louis County NAACP and national NAACP are calling for transparency and justice amid allegations the St. Louis County Medical Examiner’s Office is preparing to destroy evidence related to the hanging death of Danye Jones-son of Ferguson-based activist Melissa McKinnies.

Over nine weeks ago Melissa found her son Danye hanging dead from a tree in her yard. The St. Louis County Medical Examiner’s Office she says promised her a report within eight weeks but as of yet there has been no regarding the cause of death, which McKinnies believe was “murder.”

While reports from police say the death was reported as a “suicide,” McKinnies believes it was a “lynching.” She is one of numerous activists from Ferguson, Freddie Gray protests in Baltimore and around the nation who believe they have been targeted and tracked by law enforcement, hate groups and others who see their protests against police brutality as dangerous.

The St. Louis County NAACP is also monitoring the investigation of Danye Jones’s death. “We are calling for justice and transparency,” said John Gaskin III, St. Louis County NAACP President.

According to a report in the Washington Post several deaths of Ferguson Activists since 2014 have “inspired speculation that Ferguson protesters are being systematically murdered…” While the reports suggests there is no evidence yet regarding this, numerous media reports have confirmed the surveillance of Black activists by Federal agencies.

Earlier this year groups Color of Change and the Center for Constitutional Rights filed a lawsuit against DHS and the FBI regarding information on the government’s tracking of activists involved in the Movement for Black Lives.

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St. Louis County NAACP and NAACP National Office Join Ferguson Activist in Demanding Answers in Alleged Hanging Death of Son