Fredericktown Hate Crime?

I went searching this morning for a new podcast, something different from my usual and I came across Un(re)solved. It’s a series exploring un-resolved civil rights cold cases that involved the murders of activists back in the 50s and 60s. A key aspect of the title that I almost overlooked is that these were not necessarily unsolved. But rather, lacked resolution, or, more likely, actual justice, due to the extreme bias of investigations or lack of investigations due to prejudice.

As I listened I just felt that familiar sadness that comes with the acknowledgement that while some progress has been made in the past 70+ years we can see that, given the need for BLM in 2021, we’ve got a long, long way to go.

As I listened, I couldn’t help thinking about the April death of Derontae Martin here in Fredericktown. The local sheriff released a statement that “the preliminary evidence indicated the male subject died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.”

Given the time and location of the death, this seems unlikely.

While the local paper’s article linked above provides very little context to the death, others have stepped in with more details. This report from St. Louis television station KSDK is a good place to start.

While it’s yet to be proven, these details provide a context of the death that seem to indicate that it’s possible (I’d say likely) that this was not a suicide but a hate crime.

Yes, we have a long, long way to go.

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