• Elizabeth Sterba

Side-eye: Sac Sheriff (Again), Because WILLIE BROWN JR.

Updated: Jan 27

TRIGGER WARNING: This story includes references to suicide and lynching.


Sacramento, you're a smart crowd. Can you tell us how a person could hang themselves from a 10' basketball rim without any kind of stool, ladder, or bucket to stand on? Better yet, could you please tell our illustrious sheriff's department how that is possible? Because they have no answers, but quickly labeled the October death of Willie Brown Jr., a 38-year-old father of four, a "suicide."


We want to use this side-eye not to rehash details already well documented in Olivia Monahan's October 28 Sacramento Bee story. Rather, we want to call the community's attention to the fact that here, in Sacramento, a Black man was found hanging, lynching-style, and the ever-thorough folx at Sac Sheriff's department thought it fit to call it a suicide without so much as an investigation.


Not only do we want to know why the Sheriff's department opted not to open an immediate investigation, we want to know why this story isn't getting more play.


We also want this to be a CALL TO ACTION. Sac Sheriff has shown that they aren't taking Willie Brown's death seriously, so let's follow the family's lead in asking the FBI's Hate Crimes Unit to investigate: Visit https://www.fbi.gov/tips, or call (916) 746-7000. (Dial #1, and then #2 and use your voice to ask the FBI to open a case.)

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