Living in Society

Lynching in Iowa?

Field Corn in the Fall

Editor’s Note: Iowa DCI, Grinnell Police Department and Iowa-Nebraska NAACP held a press conference at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 22. DCI announced four suspects had been apprehended and charged. There was no indication the crime was based on race. Coroner’s report indicated a cause of death consistent with strangulation. Investigation is ongoing. A number of major media companies attended the press conference and one assumes they will continue the story. I left this unedited and will let them tell the rest of the story.

The burned body of Michael Williams of Grinnell was found in rural Kellogg on Wednesday. The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation is treating the death as a homicide. A hate crime has not been ruled out. Williams was black in a city that is 92 percent white.

“As if taking his life was not bad enough,” Powell Mejias, the victim’s mother wrote. “On Sept. 16 the perpetrators of this crime moved his body to Jasper County, dumped him on the side of the road, then set his body on fire.”

News has been scant. The Perry News headline is “Lynching possible in death, burning of Grinnell man.” Here are a couple of links to news stories.

Newer coverage from the Daily Beast.

Link to Perry News.

Link to The Scarlet and Black.

This is Iowa in the time of Donald Trump. Black Lives Matter.

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