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Preparing to head into town for a holiday parade, a Mississippi state senator and Greenwood city councilman received a

 phone call that turned his festive mood somber.

by Takia White
Special to Tri-State Defender

It was Friday, Dec. 3, and the call David Jordan received came from a local police officer, who told him that a young black man, later identified as 26-year-old Frederick Jermaine Carter, was found hanging from a tree in North Greenwood.

Upon his arrival in town, Jordan, who was born and raised in Leflore County, gained more details regarding the situation and quickly contacted the office of Daniel McMullen, Special Agent in Charge of the Jackson Division. McMullen’s staff informed him that agents had already been dispatched to the area and were working with the local sheriff’s department.

After spending 45 minutes at the scene, Jordan, who spoke with the Tri-State Defender on Wednesday (Dec. 15), had questions:

 dead man hanging from a rope
 The hanging death of 26-year-old Frederick Jermaine Carter has triggered calls for a FBI-level probe. (Photo courtesy of Sen. David Jordan)

“How did he (Carter) hang himself from a limb eight feet off the ground?”

He also wondered how Carter was able to cut the nylon chord used. Authorities found the rest of the chord in Carter’s pocket.

“A lot of unanswered questions,” said Jordan.

At the sheriff’s department, Jordan met Carter’s mother, who was there joined by  a host of family members.

“I showed her the pictures and she said, ‘My baby didn’t do that’ and started crying,” said Jordan, recalling the conversation. “She said, ‘He loved life too much.’”

According to reports, the Leflore County Coroner’s Office performed a preliminary autopsy and declared Carter’s death a suicide. Calls to the LeFlore County Sheriff’s Department had not been returned by press time.

Carter’s hanging death has garnered national attention, with those making inquiries including the NAACP, leaders from the Nation of Islam, the Rev. Al Sharpton of the National Action Network, and syndicated columnist Judge Greg Mathis.

“Most blacks don’t believe he hanged himself,” said Jordan. “There are some (people), of course, that say David Jordan is not a policeman (along with others) and they need to let the police do their job.”

Jordan said no one is hindering authorities from doing their jobs.

“Too much has happened in this area over the years to just treat this (as) business as usual,” said Jordan. “There’s gotta be some answers and we have not gotten answers.”

The “too much” Jordan refers to harkens back to1955 when the body of 14-year-old Emmett Till was found after he had been lynched and tossed into the Tallahatchie River. Greenwood is also the town in which Byron De La Beckwith, convicted murderer of civil rights activist Medgar Evers, was raised.

Funeral services for Carter will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 18 at Ark of the Covenant Church Moorhead, Miss.

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