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215 Bodies Found Behind Mississippi Jail; Families Are Outraged

"They just threw him out like trash," said the family of one of the buried.

Some 215 bodies were found in a pauper’s cemetery behind a prison in Hinds County, Mississippi. The gravesite is intended for people who have no known family, but relatives of the deceases say they were never contacted by officials.

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump is representing the families of Marrio Moore, Dexter Wade, and Jonathan Hankins, who were all buried in the cemetery without the knowledge of their families. 

“It’s like they just threw him out like trash, just like they did with the others,” Gretchen Hankins, the mother of Jonathan Hankins, told Fox affiliate WBLT. 

Activist Arthur Reed, who works with Crump, recently visited the gravesite. The deceased are put in body bags and placed into shallow graves Reed told Fox 26. 

“The stench from the bodies are drawing buzzards…” he said.

Wade was hit and killed by a police vehicle. Although the victim had an identification, Wade’s family was not notified of his death. The family thought he was missing until they recently learned that he was buried, identified by a number, in the pauper’s prison just outside of Jackson.  

Reverend Hosea Hines, the senior pastor of the Christ Tabernacle Church and the national leader for A New Day Coalition of Equity and Black America, spoke to The Chicago Crusader. 

“It really saddens my heart to know that their relatives went that long, some over a year, not knowing if their loved ones were dead or alive and then coming to the realization that they had been buried in a pauper’s grave behind a jailhouse,” he said.

According to Hines, Jackson’s new police chief, Joseph Wade, has implemented a new death notification policy that will provide relatives with a notification and details about their loved one’s deaths. 

“People all across America are scratching their heads in disbelief about what’s happening in Jackson, Mississippi, with this pauper’s graveyard,” Crump said during a press conference.

“It went from talking about the water” that was non-existent or contaminated “to now we’re talking about the graveyard. What is going on in Jackson, Mississippi?”

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