A South Carolina man has been arrested after he attempted to solicit a white supremacist group to murder his Black neighbor and have him hanged from a tree. The disturbing request represents a modern-day attempt at lynching.
Brandon Cory Lecroy, 25, reached out to a white supremacist organization to enlist help in killing the man. According to an affidavit cited by the Index-Journal, Lecroy spoke with an FBI informant. The next day he was, unbeknownst to him. in contact with an undercover agent.
“$500 and he’s a ghost,” Lecroy offered the agent, per the affidavit.
Lecroy reportedly ask that his neighbor be hanged from a tree and that a flaming cross be placed in his yard.
“He also texted the agent a picture of the neighbor, who was identified in court documents only as ‘FJ,'” the Washington Post reported. According to the affidavit, Lecroy wanted to take ownership of his neighbor’s property.
According to the Post and Courier, Lecroy met with the agent on April 9, at which time he put down a $100 down payment “with acknowledgement that this payment was for the murder of his neighbor”; Lecroy and the agent also reportedly talked about “future targets.”
Lecroy was charged with solicitation to commit a crime of violence and use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire, the South Carolina district attorney’s office reported. He faces up to a decade in prison and a $250,000 fine.
It was not reported which organization Lecroy reached out to, and it is unclear what relationship if any he had with his neighbor, according to the Washington Post.
The Index-Journal reported that Lecroy is currently at Federal Medical Center Devens in Ayer, Mass.; a psychiatric evaluation was ordered to determine if Lecroy is fit to stand trial.
According to the NAACP, 3,446 Black people were lynched between 1882 and 1968. The National Memorial for Peace and Justice and the Legacy Museum opened in Montgomery, Ala., this past April. It honors the victims of racial terror lynchings with monuments, sculptures and words from famous pioneers of the civil rights movement.
However, the idea of lynching continues to rear its ugly head in today’s society.
In January, an Ohio middle school teacher faced no consequences after telling her 13-year-old Black student he would face a lynch mob if he didn’t do his work.
The following month, a member of a school board in Louisiana shared a photo with a noose on Facebook, and while he apologized, he didn’t appear to understand its racial overtones. Mike Whitlow of the Tangipahoa Parish School Board reportedly reposted a meme featuring a noose and an interesting choice of words on his personal Facebook account: “If we want to make America great again, we will have to make evil people fear punishment again.”
In April, former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick received the Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience Award. When receiving the award he acknowledged “the lawful lynching of Black and brown people by the police.”