In this industrial hamlet of western New Hampshire, the unthinkable may have been unfolding. While playing just two blocks down from his home, Quincy, who is biracial, was nearly hanged from a tree, by a rope. His mother calls it an attack.
“I never would have — in a million years would have thought that it would have come to my son, you know, nearly being lynched,” his mother, Cassandra Merlin told ABC News.
She took pictures of the wounds around the 8-year-old’s neck. Family members shared them on Facebook. They went viral, outraging the public and bringing national attention to Quincy’s case. Those details of his case — a rope, a brown boy, a tree — evocative of another time in American history where it was commonplace for African-Americans to be hung.
Merlin alleges that police were slow to respond and says they initially declared what happened an “accident”, criticism the Claremont Police dispute.
“I wasn’t at the initial scene of it,” Claremont Police Chief Mark Chase said in an interview with ABC News. “I know that I was alerted to it within a short period of time where we made contact with the people in this investigation [and] started assigning the resources to further investigate it.”
It was just weeks before school started, on August 28, that the incident occurred. Merlin says that Quincy and his older sister, Ayanna were playing at a park with a group of older boys when an argument broke out. Merlin says her account of what happened came from what her children told her.
“They had thrown out some things that they’re– some racial slurs, and that obviously upset him and his sister, and so Quincy had decided, you know, just to move on with it, just to let it go,” Merlin said.
They all met back up, heading to a house right down the road from Quincy’s, she says, and the boys continued to horse around, spotting a tire swing attached to the tree. One of the boys broke the swing off, she says, before all taking turns putting the rope around their necks. And then it was Quincy’s turn.
“They told him to tie the rope around his neck. And he got up on…