Socially loud! Can you hear us?




Attorney Daryl Parks of Parks and Crump addresses the audience at the June 8th NAACP Town Hall in Clarksdale.


CLARKSDALE, MS – Monday, June 10, 2013 – The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Community Relations Service (CRS), the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), Parks & Crump law firm, and the family of Marco McMillian came together for a town hall meeting on Saturday, June 8, sponsored by the Coahoma County Branch of the NAACP to discuss the murder of Marco McMillian, a Black mayoral candidate in Clarksdale, Mississippi, who was also gay.


On February 27, the body of Marco McMillian was found on the Mississippi River levee. Local authorities have ruled his case a homicide, but there are conflicting reports and speculation around the motive. The Coahoma County Sheriff's Office announced that a suspect, Lawrence Reed, faces a murder charge in the death. Reed, 22, was found in McMillian's wrecked SUV. He later provided authorities with the location of the victim's body. The suspect is currently in police custody.


"Not only was Marco McMillian a life member of the NAACP, he and his family were and are a contributing part of this community," stated Dr. Jimmy L. Wiley, President, Coahoma County NAACP. “They deserve our attention in seeking justice for both him and his family.”


The town hall meeting served as an opportunity for community members to ask questions and receive answers.


“We are moving closer to securing justice for Marco McMillian,” stated Sharon Lettman-Hicks, NBJC Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer. “However, we must continue to work to ensure that justice is served. It has been more than 100 days since Marco McMillian’s body was found on the Mississippi River levee, and we’re left with too many unanswered questions. No mother deserves to be traumatized by a lack of information around the death of her only child, and no community deserves to suffer in silence while being ignored by those who are entrusted with securing justice.”


Walter Atkinson, Senior Conciliation Specialist for the U.S. Department of Justice Community Relations Service was present to help facilitate the town hall meeting. DOJ CRS serves as a neutral entity aimed at addressing community tension stemming from actual or perceived cases of discrimination. “We are pleased that DOJ decided to participate in this listening session with the community. It is one step closer to demonstrating the need for a federal investigation,” stated Lettman-Hicks.


“The opportunity to convene the public in a town hall setting is a necessary part of involving the community in demanding justice for Marco McMillian,” stated Daryl Parks, Esq. of Parks & Crump, LLC, Marco McMillian's family attorney. Parks, Wiley, Lettman-Hicks, Atkinson, and McMillian/Unger family spokesperson Carter Womack offered remarks during the town hall. Sheriff Charles Jones, Coahoma County, MS was invited by the NAACP but declined to participate. However, Will Rooker, Public Information Officer, Coahoma County Sheriff Office, did deliver a prepared statement.


“On behalf of The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), I commend the Coahoma County Branch of the NAACP for stepping forward as a community leader and adding their voice to this heinous crime. We must all speak up for Marco to ensure that justice is served in this case,” stated Lettman-Hicks.


View the Town Hall photo album on Facebook >




The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS.