Civil rights attorney Ben Crump is calling for an investigation after 215 bodies were found buried in a cemetery behind a Mississippi jail.
The Chicago Crusader reports the remains were discovered in a pauper’s cemetery behind the Hinds County, Mississippi jail. The gravesites are reportedly marked with merely a metal rod and number.
Following the news, Crump joined forces with Reverend Hosea Hines, senior Pastor of the Christ Tabernacle Church and the national leader of A New Day Coalition for Equity and Black America, to call for an investigation into the causes of the 215 deaths.
“People all across America are scratching their heads in disbelief about what’s happening in Jackson, Mississippi, with this pauper’s graveyard,” Crump told a congregation at the Stronger Hope Baptist Church in Jackson last month. “It went from talking about the water” that was non-existent or contaminated, “to now we’re talking about the graveyard. What is going on in Jackson, Mississippi?”
Hines reiterated Crump's concerns, saying it "saddens my heart" to know the realitives of the deceased have gone so long without knowing where their loved ones bodies are buried.
“It really saddens my heart to know that their relatives went that long, some over a year, not knowing if their loved ones were dead or alive and then coming to the realization that they had been buried in a pauper’s grave behind a jailhouse,” Hines said. “If they had been properly notified, they would have been able to pay their proper respect."
Crump confirmed that it's unclear if the deaths were caused by “racism, prejudice, or bigotry.”