Officials have ruled that the death of a young Black man, who was hanging from a tree in Indiana almost 100 years ago , is a lynching .
Even though George Tompkins, a 19-year-old boy, had his hands tied behind his back, the Indianapolis murder was ruled suicide in 1922. No one was ever arrested.
On Saturday, the record was rectified by Alfie McGinty, Marion County Deputy Chief Coronarian. He presented a new death certificate listing Tompkins' death as the result of homicide.
McGinty stated, "We will bring justice on something that was unconscionable for me." "We are proud that we were able to be part of this history 100 years later and will always remember George Tompkins."
The Indiana Remembrance Coalition has been pressing for Tompkins' death certificates to be amended.
Phil Breman, a volunteer administrator for the group, stated that Tompkins' case was unique to them due to how it was casually dismissed without any follow-up from local authorities.
"It was written off in just two days and deemed a suicide. Breman, a former communications professor at Ball State Univeristy, said that his lynching was buried before the body.
"He was lynched March 16, and he was buried March 20. The story vanished no later than March 19. It was removed from the front pages and buried in the newspapers within two days.
Tompkins left his home at 7:30 am the morning of the day of his death. Family members said that he was found hanging from the tree near the corner of Lafayette and Cold Spring Roads at 2 p.m.
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett stated that "this recognition comes 100 years too soon." "Public officials such as myself must preserve and promote equal justice in our city for all citizens," Hogsett said.
Karrah Herring, Gov. Eric Holcomb's chief equity and inclusion officer said that acknowledging Tompkins' death nearly a century later was still valuable.
A bill was passed by the U.S. Senate last week making lynching an federal crime.
Herring stated, "We must be comfortable with uncomfortable conversations even now."