It was around 5 p.m. on a Monday in late August, and an 8-year-old boy, like so many others that summer evening, was playing in a back yard. The others he was with had a few years on him — some were as old as 14 — and he had no reason to suspect that the picnic table or tire swing nearby would become tools for what his family alleges was a racially motivated near-hanging.
That night in Claremont, N.H., took a dark turn, the boy’s family claims, when the teens started taunting the boy with racial epithets and throwing sticks and rocks at his legs. Family accounts of the incident reported by the Valley News allege the teens stood on top of the picnic table and grabbed a rope attached to a tire swing.
“The (teenagers) said, ‘Look at this,’ supposedly putting the rope around their necks,” Slattery told the Valley News. “One boy said to (her grandson), ‘Let’s do this,’ and then pushed him off the picnic table and hung him.”