“They kept saying it was drug-induced behavior,” Foreman says. “But nobody ever witnessed him doing drugs, and he has no drug-related criminal history.”
Some whisper that Wright could have been murdered because he was married to a white woman in a Texas town where not everyone is racially tolerant.
Other inconsistencies have emerged. The first autopsy called Wright’s death an accident, but his family never believed it. They ordered a second autopsy by Dr. Leeann Grossman who said she has “a high index of suspicion that this is a homicide.”
The Justice Department decided to take on the case after U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, (D-Texas) wrote a three-page letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
Lee wrote that local law enforcement officials dropped the search after three days and noted that Wright is from Jasper, Texas, a town also known for the racially-motivated death of James Byrd, a black man who was dragged to death by whites in 1998.
“This case appears to bear the indicia of a suspicious crime in which an African-American male is yet again the victim of an act of lethal violence,” Jackson Lee wrote. “Despite credible and overwhelming evidence to the contrary, local law enforcement officials ruled the death … as ‘accidental’ and ceased their investigation.
Equally troubling is the fact that one of the last persons to see Alfred Wright alive is a Sabine County law enforcement officer … who, according to the Wright family, has yet to be questioned fully by investigators.”
Jasper, a small town about 130 miles north of Houston, has a population of 7,590 residents, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. Somebody knows something about Wright’s death.
Cade Bernsen, a lawyer for Alfred’s Wright family, told reporters that the family appreciates the Justice Department investigation.
“It’s important to have some people who aren’t from this area to take a look at it because there’s just too many questions that remain unanswered,” Bernsen said.
Now, perhaps, after this tragic incident, the Wright family will get the answers they need – and the justice they deserve.