Activists are claiming that a gay black teen found hanging from a tree was the victim of a racist lynching, but local law enforcement authorities say they don’t suspect any foul play in the incident.
16-year-old Mikayla Miller was found dead on April 18 in a wooded area of Hopkinton in Massachusetts, a town west of Boston that is predominantly white according to the Boston Globe.
The teen had gotten into a fight with two teenagers the previous day at a clubhouse in the apartment complex where she lived. Miller’s mother told the Boston Globe that the four teens were white and that the confrontation arose from a fight that Miller had with her girlfriend.
Miller’s mother went to sleep that night believing that her daughter was home. But police say that data from the teen’s phone shows that she walked about 1,316 steps that night between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Police have concluded that none of the other teenagers were with Miller when she died.
But an activist group is accusing the police of covering up the facts.
“Everything about this case says that something is being hidden, and it does not feel good,” said Monica Cannon-Grant of Violence in Boston, a group that represents victims of violent crimes.
“Mikayla was found tied to a tree, standing on her feet with a belt wrapped around her neck,” she explained.
Rumors in the case have also spread like wildfire on social media.
On Monday, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan released a timeline of the facts known in the case and denied the accusations that officials had already reached a conclusion in the case.
“Regarding the notion that this office has in some way neglected Mikayla’s case, or worse… engaged in some sort of cover-up because Mikayla was Black, or because she was a member of the LGBTQI community — that is patently false,” Ryan said to reporters.
Ryan also said they are still awaiting a medical examiner’s report on the cause of death.
Meanwhile, Cannon-Grant is organizing a protest on Thursday against the police and calling for quicker answers in the case.
Activists made similar lynching claims after a black man was found hanging from a tree in Victorville, California, in March 2020. Surveillance video later proved that the man had committed suicide.
Here’s a local news report about the incident:
Middlesex DA Releases Timeline In Death Of Mikayla Miller