A New Hampshire child was taunted with racial slurs and nearly hanged by teenagers, according to the family calling for action by police.
The biracial child was pushed off a picnic table with a rope around his neck, causing cuts and abrasions, according to reports from local TV stations. The boy was treated and released shortly after the Aug. 28 event, and has returned to school in Claremont, N.H.
The boy’s grandmother, Lorrie Slattery, told the Valley News that the children were playing in a back yard when the teenagers got the rope from a tire swing. No adults are believed to have witnessed the incident, but hospital workers told the family he swung by the neck three times before he was able to remove the rope.
“One boy said… ‘Let’s do this,’ and then pushed him off the picnic table and hung him,” Slattery said.
Now New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu has asked the state attorney general’s office to assist the Claremont Police Department with its investigation, according to the Washington Post. Claremont Police so far have declined to provide details, citing state laws regarding an ongoing investigation involving juveniles.
Meanwhile, civil rights organizations in New Hampshire and elsewhere are calling for more transparency in the investigation. “To pretend this is just an unfortunate incident between some misguided children is to downplay serious what happened here,” said Pastor John Gregory-Davis, a member of Showing Up for Racial Justice, a New Hampshire civil rights activism group.