Death Of Melissa McKinnies' Son Ruled A Suicide By Medical Examiner
The Ferguson protester doesn’t agree with the ruling and still believes her son was lynched.
According to an investigation by the office, the 24-year-old Jones died of suicide by hanging as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
In the report, the medial examiner’s investigator noted there was a wooden chair knocked on its side under the tree where Jones had been hanging. The report also said that Jones’ family members indicated he had felt depressed several times over the years but had never been clinically diagnosed with depression.
The family also said Jones had been dealing with a lot including trying to start a real estate company and dealing with rumors of him being gay. The report also notes that Jones didn’t leave a suicide letter.
An assistant medical examiner found no additional marks on Jones’ body. An autopsy wasn’t conducted.
McKinnies, who received a copy of the report, told the Post-Dispatch that she doesn’t agree with it. She also claimed on Facebook that the medical examiner’s office would be destroying the sheet that she alleges was used to hang her son. However, the St. Louis County police said no evidence related to Jones death has been destroyed.
“I don’t know anything about that,” Sgt. Shawn McGuire said, adding that the St. Louis police still have their own active investigation for Jones death. “Nothing is going to be destroyed until our investigation is completed.”
McKinnies had first shared news of Jones’ death on Facebook.
“They lynched my baby,” the activist wrote on a post that included graphic images of her son. The since-deleted post (which McKinnies said was deleted by Facebook) circulated throughout social media.
Jones’ death is reminiscent of the string of Ferguson activist deaths that have occurred since 2014. DeAndre Joshua was found in his car with two gunshot wounds to the head the night of the Ferguson verdict in 2014. Two years later, Darren Seals was found dead with two gunshot wounds to the head in his car too. In both instances, the cars were set on fire. In 2017, Edward Crawford, the activist who became viral from an iconic Ferguson protest picture showing him grabbing an active tear gas canister fired from police and throwing the explosive back at them, was found shot to death in his car too. Police believe Crawford shot himself in the back seat of his car either in an attempted suicide or by accident. Bassem Masri has been the latest Ferguson activist to pass away. He died of a heart attack at 31 in late November.
Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch