06-26-2017  8:30 am      •     
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Cooling Centers to open in Multnomah County Saturday, Sunday

Temperatures expected to climb into the upper 90s this weekend ...

Multnomah County Leaders Release Statement on Safety at Summer Events

Officials advise public to check in, have a plan and be aware at public events ...

Portland Musician, Educator Thara Memory Dies

Grammy-winning Trumpeter, composer, teacher died Saturday at the age of 68 ...

St. Johns Center for Opportunity to Host Meet the Employer Event June 27

Employers represented will include Mary’s Harvest and Del Monte ...

New Self-Defense Organization Offers Training to Youth in Multnomah County

EMERJ-SafeNow offers July classes for children ages 8-10 and youth ages 15-19 ...



Our Children Deserve High Quality Teachers

It’s critical that parents engage with educational leaders and demand equal access to high quality teachers ...

Civil Rights Groups Ask for Broad Access to Affordable Lending

Charlene Crowell writes that today’s public policy housing debate is also an opportunity to learn from the mistakes of the past and...

Criminal Justice Disparities Present Barriers to Re-entry

Congressional Black Caucus Member Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) writes about the fight to reduce disparities in our criminal justice...

Bill Maher Betrayed Black Intellectuals

Armstrong Williams talks about the use of the n-word and the recent Bill Maher controversy ...



(CNN) -- The family of a Mississippi mayoral candidate claimed Sunday that he died after being "beaten, dragged and burned," but it's an account a medical examiner disputed, saying "I don't know where that is coming from."

On Wednesday, authorities found Marco McMillian's body near a levee between Sherard and Rena Lara, two unincorporated communities about 15 minutes from Clarksdale. The 34-year-old McMillian had been running for mayor of Clarksdale, a city of about 18,000 people in northwestern Mississippi's Delta region.

His body was "set afire," according to his family, who said they twice met with a coroner.

Coahoma County Medical Examiner Scotty Meredith told CNN that there were "signs of an altercation," but that didn't kill him.

"Beating is not the cause of death," said Meredith, who confirmed he'd met twice with McMillian's family. "He was beaten, but not badly."

The medical examiner added he didn't know how the family came to the conclusion that McMillian was dragged and burned.

The late politician's family, in the statement released through his former campaign manager Jarod Keith, called for "a full and thorough investigation." They said McMillian had told "family and close friends that he was very concerned for his personal safety."

"We feel that this was not a random act of violence, based on the condition of the body when it was found," they said. "Marco, nor anyone, should have their lives end in this manner."

Yet Meredith insisted "this was not a targeted attack."

"No way," the medical examiner said. "This was more of a personal dispute."

The Coahoma County Sheriff's Office announced on Thursday that a suspect, Lawrence Reed, faces a murder charge in the death.

Reed, 22, was found in McMillian's wrecked SUV on Tuesday morning and was taken to a hospital.

McMillian's Facebook page shows a glimpse at a man who was politically ambitious. It includes a picture of McMillian posing with President Barack Obama. His campaign motto: "Moving Clarksdale forward."

McMillian's short biography on Facebook said he had spent much of his career raising money for universities after he graduated from Jackson State with a degree in elementary education. He also received a master's in philanthropy and development from Saint Mary's University of Minnesota.

In 2004, Ebony magazine recognized him as one of the country's top leaders younger than 30. He received the Thurgood Marshall Prestige Award from the Thurgood Marshall College Fund five years later.

And from 2007 to 2011, McMillian was executive director of his fraternity, Phi Beta Sigma, which after his death recalled how he'd "made an incredible difference in his community." He secured the first federal contract to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS among African-Americans for the fraternity and helped it form partnerships with organizations such as the U.S. Marine Corps and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in discussing the disease.

Patricia McMillian said that even though media reports since her son's death have labeled him as openly gay, his death likely had nothing to do with his sexual orientation.

Without offering specifics, the family said Sunday that it hoped to share information from the ongoing investigation in order "to dispel speculations surrounding his death."

CNN's Greg Botelho, Ashley Fantz and Steve Almasy contributed to this report.

™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.


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