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One year later, still no official word in Claremont case involving alleged lynching of young boy

By MARK HAYWARD
New Hampshire Union Leader

September 08. 2018 9:40PM
"Hatred and bigotry will not be tolerated in New Hampshire," Gov. Chris Sununu had said in a statement after dispatching state investigators to help Claremont police investigating the alleged assault. (Facebook)



It's been a little more than a year since the city of Claremont was rocked by allegations of a racially motivated attack that involved slurs and the potential lynching of a young boy.

Expectations are now growing of an impending release of an official explanation of what happened.

In mid-August, Lisa Wolford, the chief of the Attorney General's Criminal Justice Bureau, issued the following statement: "Once the investigation of the August 28, 2017 Claremont matter was complete, due to confidentiality constraints and the ages of the children involved, the Attorney General's Office sought a court order permitting the release of a public report detailing its investigation of the matter. The report has not been released because litigation over whether it may be released is ongoing."

In the days following the incident, the boy's grandmother talked to the media and said her biracial, 8-year-old grandson suffered rope burns after a group of teens started voicing slurs and threw sticks and rocks at him. She said the bullies also put a rope from an old tire swing around his neck and pushed him off a picnic table.

He swung back and forth until he could remove the rope from his neck and was airlifted to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center for treatment of his injuries, she said at the time.

The city hosted several vigils, and the boy - Quincy Chivers - went on national television shows to say what happened.

He has said he wanted to be "cool" and put the rope around his neck after a 14 year old had done the same thing. He said he was scared and another boy quickly pushed him off the table.

The mother, Cassandra Merlin, has called it a hate crime, saying the older boys were used slurs and phrases such as "white pride," throughout the day.

But the parents of one of the teens - Eric Sullivan and Rhianna Larkin - have described the matter as a prank with no racial motivation.

New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon MacDonald joined the investigation in mid-September 2017 and said if credible evidence surfaced of a hate crime, he would take appropriate action.

In April, his office said the investigation was completed.


Crime, law and justice General News Public Safety Social issues Claremont


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