Paris, Texas Dragging Updated Report: Autopsy Report, Rally & Townhall Meeting

Written by Jesse Muhammad

(Blogger's Note: Below is an excerpt from my latest report on the dragging death of Brandon McClelland in Paris, Texas. Please read the full article in the upcoming edition of the Final Call Newspaper)

PARIS, TEXAS—Driven by a hurting mother’s call for justice, nearly three hundred protestors from across the state and country converged on the lawn of the Lamar County courthouse to speak out against what they see as a corrupted judicial system aimed at covering up the fatal dragging of 24-year-old Brandon McClelland.

Mr. McClelland’s death has drawn stirring parallels to the case of James Byrd Jr. who was brutally killed in Jasper, Texas ten years ago after being chained to a truck by three white men and hauled over three miles.

Suspects Shannon Finley and Charles Crostley remain in the Lamar County Jail on murder charges and have not been indicted. A grand jury is scheduled to convene on December 11 and a trial is not expected to take place until Spring of next year.

“Based upon the stand that has been taken by the family and others to bring attention to this case don’t be surprised if the defenders now try to file for a change of venue”, said Attorney Daryl Washington to the Final Call. He serves as counsel for the McClelland family.

According to a Texas crime report released in 2007 by the department of public safety, there were a total of 243 hate crimes in the state. Whites made up 44 percent of the hate crime offenders compared to 14 percent for Blacks. Highways, roads, streets, and alleys accounted for 22 percent of hate crime locations, second only to residential homes at 40 percent.

“Because the eyes of the nation are on this case, they [defenders] may say their clients now can’t get a fair trial in Paris, Texas”, said Mr. Washington. “My job is to make sure this entire process is transparent and that all charges against the suspects are pursued.”

According to an autopsy report signed by ten medical examiners of the Dallas Southwestern Institute of Forensic Science, the “initial investigation suggested that the blunt force injuries sustained were the result of an accidental hit-and-run, However, additional investigation and developments in the case indicate that the decedent was intentionally ran over with a truck.”

The report further states “therefore based upon the autopsy findings and the history available to us, it is our opinion that Brandon Demon McClelland, a 24-year-old black male, died as a result of blunt force injuries.” Also, the manner of death declared by the examiners is a homicide.

Rally at courthouse draws hundreds

The November 17 rally was led by members of the New Black Panther Party, the Nation of Islam and a lone standing Paris based pastor who challenged other local preachers on their decision to not attend the rally.

“Don’t sit up and talk about me in your churches because I am here with groups you don’t like”, said Rev. Fred Stovall III of Kingdom Harvest church. “The death of Brandon McClelland was the catalyst for this, but there are a lot of issues in Lamar County and Red River County that must be addressed.”

An ailing Jacqueline McClelland said to the chanting crowd “like I have said before, this is not just about my son. I just want justice to be done right for my child and for everybody's child.”

Among the rally onlookers from an adjacent parking lot were several dozen White people, including a Bible waving heckler who attempted to drown out the speakers with words of scripture and disagreement. “This is not a racist town!”, he yelled.

“To the white people that are here, don’t get angry with us”, said Hashim Nzinga of the NBPP. “If you do get angry, go home and look at yourself in the mirror. We are here because on some highway in Texas a body of a Black man was found with blood dripping from it. Bones dripping from it.”

Deric Muhammad, of the Nation of Islam in Houston, warned prosecutors that “if you want to rewrite some of the history of Paris and Lamar County, handle this case properly.”

Local activist Brenda Cherry, co-founder of Citizens for Racial Equality, and Jim Blackwell, of the Tarrant County Local Organizing Committee, were among the other speakers.


  1. Where was this Great God??? the so called Equalizer When Crimes. Happen against myself and our people? Poverty, self-Hatred, Incarceration, Fasley Accused, Broken Homes, slavery, Poor Education. Were is this Great God??? 1.5 million African men and they are working on the african woman i,m one of them? we are only 12% of the Population our men make up 42% of the prison population. and what about the woman, how mamy of us have now been given the Scarlett Letter F= Felon. i have been Fasley accused and convitced of a 3rd degree Felon. a white woman says i beat her up in broad daylight at a bank??? so you tell me how does a Pauper Fight This Racist System because Minorities are generally poor and can,t afford the kind of Help!and counsel that they need the Government has all of the tools the Prosecutors, they have an Awesome Amount of Power, when somebody,s Indicted they hand them or mail( me) a paper that says the United States of America (me) The State of Texas Versus you That Profound! That Include the state Treasury and all the Manpower the state can Muster up against you. Now you tell me? how does a pauper fight?? the state of texas versus you! (me) that pretty Profound Powers and in most cases it,s ABUSED all in the Name of GOD, Goverment and Tough on Crime and someone POLITICAL Interest. People if you do nothing else please view (Murder ON A SUNDAY MORNING) BEST DOCUMENTARY This is a true story That happen to a young african american young man on a sunday moring his name is BRENTON BUTLER. goggle it or go pick it up at your libary. people get your head out of the sand just because some of us have a home,job,nice car and can maybe take a holiday? the struggle is here and now!

    Beverley McCarther

  2. Anonymous while I do agree with you on your views of the justice system I can not agree with you on your religious views. My husband has been wrongly accused of Burglary of a motor vehicle and as a result he is serving time in Louisiana because Harris County's jails are overcrowded. So I am with you 100% when you say that the color of justice is green. I always say the law is just a little whore willing to sell herself to the highest bidder. To answer your question on the whereabouts of this "Great God" he is here waiting a watching. There is so much poverty and other madness in the world because people don't come to him. He will do right by those that will do right by him. I am a living witness of his grace and mercy. God has truly blessed me. My income has been cut in half and I still make it everyday and I can only say that it was by his grace and not mans grace. People suffer because thats how they choose to live. I am willing to bet my life that if theses suffering people wuold have faith and go to God they wouldn't have a thing to worry about. The grieving mother in the story has lost her son but His grace and mercy is what is keeping her sane. You may not believe in him but try reading his bible just to get a better understanding of the way things work. Don't knock it till you try it. I tried living without God and I struggled so much but once I gave in and came to him mu life has been so peaceful....

  3. We are now hearing that DNA was not found on the truck. What's going on?

  4. Yes I heard that. This is the classic COVERUP that is being set in motion for these criminals. But there was an independent autopsy report that was done that I obtained for The Final Call that proves otherwise.

    This system has not changed.

  5. Have you heard it has been proven that there was no DNA of McClellend found on Finley's truck? If they found DNA of an animal and Finley's dad (when he had worked on the truck and cut himself) don't you think they could have found McClellends DNA on there, if there was any.

  6. Whatever...there is no coverup these guys are innocent. why cant everybody just understand that?


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