NAACP: Deaths of two black men suspicious - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

NAACP: Deaths of two black men suspicious

January 17, 2007

Ashburn - - The Georgia NAACP is getting involved with two deaths they say happened under strange circumstances in 2005 and 2006. Families say they've received too few answers from law enforcement and the answers they have gotten, they say they don't agree with.  

When 30 year old Greg Wallace's body was found in an Ashburn pond in 2005, authorities found his car parked there too, along with keys and eyeglasses inside.

"That's not like him. He was real funny about his things. He wouldn't have left his window wound down and he needed his glasses to see because it was before day in the morning when he left home," says his mother Geraldine Wallace.

Law enforcement have ruled the cause of death undeterminable.

In 2006, 19 year old Arthur Mayo, III died after a truck hit him on Highway 112. Sgt. Jim Jolly of Georgia State Patrol says Mayo ran in front of the truck. Mayo's parents say their son would never do that.

"If something was bothering him that bad to make him want to kill himself, he would've told me. Did you have that type of relationship? Yes, me and my son were close," says his father Arthur Mayo, Jr. 

Both families have called on the help of the state's NAACP office.

"Its important because of the nature of these deaths. We're talking about two African American men that were killed under strange circumstances," says Georgia NAACP President Edward Dubose.

He doesn't understand how authorities came to the conclusion Mayo committed suicide and haven't shared an autopsy with the family.

"They don't have his clothes. The family was told that the clothes were thrown away, they were too dirty and wet so they threw them away. That's not how you handle evidence. Everything about this case points to something strange that warrants further investigation."

Turner County Sheriff Randy Kendrick's department responded to both incidents, but says the cases left his hands when the department handed them over to state agencies.

"They need to go to the agencies who were involved in doing the investigation and talk directly to them. I feel like they would get a whole lot more done and not just to the local officers, go to Atlanta, to the headquarters."

The NAACP is going to the federal government, requesting an investigation from the U.S. Department of Justice.

"Everything just aint adding up right," says Arthur's mother Crystal Mayo.

Both families still mourn. 

Sheriff Kendrick says he does believe Wallace's death is suspicious, but says there's no evidence to prove he was killed.

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