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NBJC and Civil Rights Community Demand Federal Investigation into Marco McMillian Murder



What: The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), Parks & Crump law firm, and the McMillian family will convene a national press conference to address the autopsy results of the late Marco McMillian, a Black mayoral candidate in Clarksdale, Mississippi, who was also gay. Family members and civil rights community leaders will demand a federal investigation by the Department of Justice. NBJC has secured Parks & Crump, the Trayvon Martin family attorneys, to represent the McMillian family. Patricia McMillian, mother of Marco McMillian, will be present.

Confirmed speakers include: Sharon Lettman-Hicks, Executive Director and CEO, NBJC; Derrick Johnson, President, Mississippi NAACP; Carter Womack, McMillian family spokesperson; Daryl Parks, Esq., McMillian family attorney, Parks & Crump law firm. Other individuals/organizations expected to attend and speak, including politicians, will be announced in the future.

Where: New Jerusalem M.B. Church, 835 Florida Avenue, Clarksdale, MS 38614

When: Thursday, May 9, 2013 at 11:00am

Who: The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is the nation’s leading Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, dedicated to eradicating homophobia and racism.

Why: 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. Some say the two were romantically involved while others are pleading the “gay panic” defense, insinuating that Marco McMillian made unwanted advances to the murder suspect, Lawrence Reed.

A recent autopsy report, signed by the Chief Medical Examiner on May 1, 2013, says a suspect admitted to killing McMillian and that the victim died from lack of oxygen. The report goes on to detail that blunt force trauma most likely contributed to Clarkdale mayoral candidate’s death, but what exactly caused the asphyxiation remains unknown. The report also notes that there were abrasions and lacerations on McMillian's head, back and legs and multiple "areas of second and third degree burns," and that “the manner of death is homicide.”

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.