Protestors in Paris, Texas plan to rally Monday and call for a federal investigation into a dragging death after suspects are released.
Wired PR News – Protestors are planning to meet Monday at noon at the Lamar County Courthouse in Paris, Texas to call for a federal investigation into the dragging death of a 24 year-old black man. Many in the small town have become angered by the recent decision of officials to dismiss charges against the two individuals accused of killing him.
Special prosecutor Tobey Shook dismissed murder charges against Shannon Finley and Charles Crostley in connection to the death of Brandon McClelland, weeks before their trial was set to begin, citing a lack of evidence for the case. However, an original affidavit stated that human blood had been found on the truck driven by Finley, and an autopsy report revealed that McClelland had been dragged. Adding a twist to the case, a truck driver was stated to be found by the defense, who claimed he was driving along the road in the same area where McClelland’s body was found on the night of the incident, and felt a bump in the road. Officials used this information to conclude that the driver had accidentally run over McClelland, although there has reportedly been no official investigation into the matter.
The mother of the victim, Jacquline McClelland commented on the actions of the prosecutor and other officials stating, “My baby was dragged. I’m mad as hell and heartbroken that the murderers of my baby were free to just go on with their lives. Shannon Finley’s lawyer dug up a truck driver seven months later who claims he might have been the one who killed my baby. According to Tobey Shook, the trucker would only talk to him if he got immunity and that it was up to the Lamar County D.A. to give him immunity. I guess he got immunity so now even he won’t be charged and is free to just go on with his life as if nothing happened.”
Ms. McClelland further stated of the dismissal, “There’s no justice in Lamar County for black people. When I was at the change of venue hearing, and saw the editor of The Paris News, Mary Madewell, get up on the stand and testify how her own articles, which supported Finley and Crosly made it impossible for them to get a fair trial, and Tobey Shook didn’t make any real objection to that, I knew then that justice would not be served.”
“I saw the article in today’s Dallas news that the decision to let the killers of my son go might bring racial healing,” she said. “How is there supposed to be racial healing, when there is such an obvious difference in how white people are treated when they’re charged with a crime and how black people are treated?”
“I saw where the defense attorney made a statement to the news saying it’s not uncommon for animals to be run over on that highway. My baby was not an animal, he was a human being. He was my only child,” she also stated. “The Dallas News quoted Tobey Shook saying he dismissed the case in the interest of Justice. My baby was left out on a highway, torn up so bad I wasn’t even able to view his body, and everyone accused of having anything to do with his death including the truck driver are free, and Tobey Shook says he dismissed the case in the interest of justice? Justice was not served and my family and I won’t rest until it is.”