8-Year-Old Boy Was Hung from Noose After Being Called Racial Slurs Family Says

A photo of the young boy’s injuries went viral, and New Hampshire state authorities are now investigating.

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New Hampshire state prosecutors are now involved in a Claremont police investigation of a biracial 8-year-old boy who was allegedly called racial slurs by teens, and pushed off of a picnic table with a noose tied around his neck.

Gov. Chris Sununu issued a statement Tuesday announcing the attorney general’s office’s involvement and said he expects that “local and state authorities will investigate appropriately.”

“Hatred and bigotry will not be tolerated in New Hampshire,” Sununu said.

On Aug. 28, at approximately 5 p.m., the 8-year-old and a group of teenagers were playing in a neighborhood yard, Lorrie Slattery, the boy’s grandmother, told Valley News. Slattery said the teens started calling her grandson racial slurs while tossing rocks and sticks at his legs. She said the teens then decided to stand on top of a picnic table and take a rope that was part of a tire swing.

Slattery told Newsweek the teens, who she indicated are white, lured her grandson to put the rope around his neck.

“The 14-year-olds were saying ‘Oh look at us,’ and putting the rope around their necks, and then they said to my grandson, ‘Here, you do it.’

“And he’s 8 years old and he put that rope around his neck. And the boys said, ‘A-ha!’ and shoved him off the table. They did a scare and pushed him at the same time, and that’s when my grandson was hung.”

No adults were in the yard at the time. Slattery received information about the incident from her grandson and his 11-year-old sister, who was present at the time.

When the boy was able to free himself from the rope, his sister ran to their mother, Cassandra Merlin, and he was rushed to a local hospital. He was then airlifted to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and treated for his injuries.

Hospital personnel said that before the young boy was able to remove the rope, he swung back and forth by his neck three times, according to Valley News. None of the teens came to his aid, Slattery said.

He did not suffer any internal injuries.

“I think he had a guardian angel,” Slattery said.

On the evening of Aug. 28, the victim’s uncle posted a photo on Facebook of the 8-year-old’s bruised neck from rope burns. He wrote in the post:

“When my sister calls me when something is wrong I feel it in my bones before ever picking up the phone. Tonight I was spot on. My nephew was hung from a tree by a 14 year old who claims ‘It was an accident.’ I don’t care what kind of excuse this teenager has but you DO NOT play with somebody’s life.”

The victim’s family said the investigation by the local police department had been slow moving, until the photo went viral.

“Now they’re investigating,” said Slattery told Newsweek. “On the day it happened, the police officer went around and spoke to the boy [believed to be the ringleader] and then came back to my daughter and said, ‘the child said it was an accident; there’s nothing we can do.’

“It was the media who opened their eyes and got them to do an investigation.”

Claremont Police Chief Mark Chase said he disagrees with Slattery’s statements.

“All I can really confirm is that we sent officers to the initial investigation,” Chase told Newsweek. “We have line-level officers that respond initially. When it’s a serious investigation, we assign it to our criminal investigation. I assigned a regular police officer, we got the facts, and then the detectives took over immediately. From the get-go, we’ve believed this was a serious incident. I know that as the police department, we’ve regarded it as serious.”

According to the Valley News, Chase said on Sept. 7 that he was constrained in regard to providing information on the incident as it involved juveniles.

He also referred to the actions of those involved as “mistakes.”

“Mistakes they make as a young child should not have to follow them for the rest of their life,” Chase said.

Following Sununu’s involvement in the case, and two weeks after the victim’s family reported the alleged racial incident, on Tuesday afternoon Chase issued a press release, obtained by the Valley News. For the first time, a definitive age range for the youth involved was provided.

“Claremont police detectives assigned to this case are taking all steps possible to investigate the incident,” Chase said. “The investigation principally revolves around the conduct of people who are 14 years of age or younger.”

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“I was just mostly shocked and I wanted to ask them why they did it,” said Kylan Smallwood, the team’s quarterback and only Black varsity player.

The attorney general’s office also announced Tuesday that the New Hampshire Department of Justice would be reviewing the incident. And, “to the extent that there is any credible information that this incident constituted a hate crime or a civil rights violation under New Hampshire law, the office is prepared to take any and all appropriate action.”

On Tuesday night, about 100 people gathered in downtown Claremont, N.H., for a vigil in response to the possible hate crime.

According to New Hampshire Public Radio, when the organizer, Rebecca MacKenzie, began to introduce the night’s first speaker, “she was interrupted by a white man, driving by and yelling from his truck.”

He screamed, “All lives matter,” in response to “Black Lives Matter” signs at the vigil.

“Stop making it about race,” the man yelled.

“Sir, come over to our vigil,” MacKenzie said.

But the man drove away.

Faith leaders, city officials and the police chief spoke at the vigil.

Read more news @ DiversityInc.com

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30 comments


  • Those children learned racial slurs and actions from someone and they did not learn tolerance and inclusion from their parents/caretakers. This act is a shameful, shameful example of the open support that white nationalists, KKK & neo-Nazis now have. Shame on Trump for allowing this country to degenerate to this level. I wish I could walk up to Trump and show him this picture to illustrate what he’s sponsored and spawned. But, he probably would just have me arrested for invading his space.

  • The police of Claremont wasn’t going to do a thing about this horrible incident until the story went viral. They were going to sweep under the rugs. Those brats should be held accountable for what they did. No apology is going to take away what happened to this young boy. The so-called police chief said “it was a mistake.” He said this incident was a mistake, what a joke!

  • They accidentally tied a noose, placed it around a kids neck, and accidentally pushed him off a table?

    • Yeah, if you want to believe that feces. They do not want the boys to have a criminal record for their criminal actions.

  • This is the saddest thing I’ve ever read on Diversity Inc. My heart breaks for the 8 year old little boy, it must have been terrifying for him. This incident speaks volumes of the teen’s attitudes on race. They should be arrested for a hate crime and punished as adults. What they did is unacceptable.

  • I find it very ironic that the man yelling from the truck asked that they stop making the vigil about race.

    What else do you label several white “friends” trying to lynch a young Black boy?

  • New Hampshire is a state with great thinkers for progress and promoting “Evil” certainly is not on their agenda or school board option. Civilized society should not allow such a calculated Evil on a small child from educated big teenagers to be excused away as a “mistake”. It is not a mistake. Who are the parents of these children? What are their own beliefs at home about other people who do not look like them? Where did the noose come from? Who is the Principal of the school and who runs the school District and school Board that sets down policies for schools attended by these teenage villains? We need to start addressing these serious flaws of our society from the grassroots causes; and hold all perpetrators accountable in the different roles which they play that affect the belief systems of America’s children in this troubling manner. What will these teenagers become as adults, serial killers? No one knows. My hope is that our Caucasian parents and All parents of Minority Races will start seeing through these early criminal tendencies in teenage American children; and take a preventive stand at home to become a part of the ongoing search for lasting solutions. Law enforcement officials will continue to give in their best but they alone cannot eradicate this deep seated Evil in mankind. Everybody’s Life on this earth is finite; no matter the color or size of wealth of the person. We shall all go away from the face of the earth at some point, a hundred years from now. New faces will replace each one of us. What we need in our short existence now in America and world wide is to promote acts of kindness that show love and empower our fellow human beings to live in peace, enjoy the progress we have collectively made and find the happiness we all pursue each day. We all need to plan some visit to the mental hospitals and drug rehabs someday soon. We will awaken our conscience regardless of Race to the need to love our neighbors, be kind to the next person, and be instruments of PEACE and HARMONY in our world not agents of harm and tears.The courts need to prosecute lawlessness in teenage America and show zero tolerance for such acts that endanger people for fun.

  • This is unspeakably horrible. I hope this boy gets all the help he needs to recover well and live a prosperous life…….. Just horrible.

    What do you do with early teens who do something like this??????????????
    * you can’t treat it like a prank
    * you can’t just call it a “mistake” like they tried to do
    * you can’t lock 12-14 year olds up for life

    What is the right thing to do???????

    P.S. The officer who initially investigated and called it “a mistake” needs to be fired. It is TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE that this was glossed over until it caught some attention on social media.

  • Well, golly gee, it’s just (white) boys being boys.

    Let’s not let attempted murder (rape, drug possession, vandalism) ruin the rest of *their* previous lives.

    Let’s just give them a slap on the wrist and a warning.

    It was probably the 8 year old’s own damned fault anyway. He probably slipped into the noose, spun around a couple of times, then fell off the table

  • If the 14 year olds were black, and the 8 year old victim with this visible evidence of the crime on his neck was white, law enforcement officials would view it as something other than a mistake, for sure. As an aside, Emmitt Till was 14 when he was lynched, and considered a dangerous man. This is a horrible example of the differences in treatment of even the very young children of color in many instances within schools and the justice system. If children of color are found with drugs in school, the police are called. If white children are found with drugs, they are sent to school counselors and given the option of rehabilitation. This baby could have died, and any description I have read doesn’t set up the picture of an accident, kids playing around, etc. especially after the abuse and racist language directed at him prior to the hanging. I’m just sick.

    • You are exactly right. 14-year old black boys get charged for crimes without hesitation. Why shouldn’t these white boys as well? Especially before their racist convictions get stronger with age.

  • Greg Thrasher

    Why do so many White Americans angry about BLM ? I support White Lives and All Lives including Black Lives

    BLM

    • GREG THRASHER–The ones who get angry are the ones with a
      GUILTY CONSCIENCE–or NO CONSCIENCE. They do not
      want Black Lives To Matter, because they worship the god of
      Racism; their belief system includes the concept that everyone
      who doesn’t look like them is somehow inferior to them.
      If they acknowledge that Black Lives Matter, then they have to
      admit that Black Humans are worth preserving; and that
      Black Humans are equal to Euro-American humans.

      Admitting that Black People are EQUAL to you SCARES THESE FOLKS TO DEATH.
      Scarier still is the thought that their children might just fall in love with, and MARRY
      BLACK HUMANS. Because, that’s what happens when humans begin to believe
      in EQUALITY–they start treating other humans AS humans. Imagine that! :-0

      • Charity Dell–Thank you for your cogent logic. Whites, since slavery, adamantly refuse to acknowledge that Black Lives Matter. They want to keep all of us in the 3/5th of a person category so that they can feel superior. Their cruel and inhumane history of genocidal atrocities against Black [brown, red and yellow] lives prove that they are sociopathic, subterranean snakes, but several generations later, they still cannot acknowledge that Black Lives Matter. The question we must ask ourselves as Black people is whether Europeans are really human? Even as a born-again Christian, when Malcolm X called them “white devils,” I always believed that he was telling the GOSPEL TRUTH. I still believe he spoke as a prophet for the 21st Century.

  • How many lynching’s have been swept under the rug in the history of racial hatred in this country? How many young men have lost their lives for no reason other then being black? I remember the stories I heard of as a child from my father about lynching’s and other hateful crimes against blacks in the south but now in New Hampshire?? an 8 year old??? and the 14 year old instigator says it was an accident?? How does a rope go around your neck by accident? How are you pushed in such a manner that your body swings to and fro 3 times by accident?? How many have to die or be hatefully discriminated against before we see what is going on in this country at this time? Our former president may have been called names and his birth questioned but good came from that president. His wife may have been demeaned but good came from her endeavors. His children may have been dragged through the media but they stood as beautiful young ladies from a proud family. This president has a string of racial murder and attempted murder in just 8 months??? Pardons for crimes against court orders and scandal. Don’t watch t.v. watch 1600 Pennsylvania ave.

  • I didn’t want to read this story. I read it with tears in my eyes. I have a 9 year old grandson and I could only empathize with what the family of this boy are feeling. He thought that these boys were his friends. To say that it was all a mistake is criminal. A the age of 14 this young thug knew what he was doing. No mistake about it.. Obviously, he had heard his elders speak of the little bi-racial boy and they were probably negative comments. The person who said that if this were a case where the 14 year old was black and 8 year old being white were right on. They always want to charge the black child as a adult, also. Yes, the powers that be did try to sweep this under the rug- boys being boy and all of that nonsense. I hope that the little boy gets all of the help that he will need. He will probably have these scars- both physical and mental, for a long time. As for the teenagers, treat them like adults. If they were black, you would.

  • I hate to say this but eight year olds have no business playing with teenagers. That said, this picture of this boy’s injuries are heartbreaking. I hope he gets counseling because he will surely need it in order to fully recover from this attack. As for the 14-year old, he should be charged with a hate crime – no excuses should be made for his. If the situation was reversed, and a Black child hung a White child, the Black child would be charged with attempted murder. So, this White kid should be charged with a hate crime and let the chips fall where they may afterwards.

    • No, teenagers have no business playing with an 8 year old. The older children knew better, but they had an agenda.

  • This as everyone know was no mistake. The ringleader needs to be placed in juvenile detention and the others provided with community service in Negro communities.

    • The horror of it all. The white youths lived out what they see and hear on TV, on social media and maybe in their own homes that black lives do not matter. If you hurt someone black, you don’t get punished. While the actions are vile, like the police response, it is not totally unexpected. They are still young and impressionable.

      Unfortunately, integrity, goodwill and a sense of honor and justice from #45- AG is sadly is missing and the consequence is hate, diviseness, and fear #letpeacereign,
      AllyJ

  • At risk of sounding cruel about this tragic racist criminal act, there is a lesson to be learned for BIRACIAL [Black/white admixture] people who don’t want to identify as being “Black.” As President O’bamma learned the hard way, his 50% white blood did not protect him from the vilest racist attacks and insults. KKKountry singer, Ted Nugent called him a mongrelized ape. White parents need to learn a lesson: STOP telling their biracial children that they are NOT Black just because they are half-breeds. This biracial child suffered because he thought that he could fit in with little white racist cracKKKer playmates. The reality is that any percentage of Black blood could get you lynched or shot by racist cracKKKers or KKKops. During slavery, Frederick Douglass was the son of a white slave master, but it didn’t prevent him from getting beaten, whipped, chained and maimed by his KKKracker pappy when he tried to escape three times.

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