The mother of an eight-year-old boy whose injuries at the hands of neighborhood boys has been called by some an ‘attempted lynching,’ and which has shaken their New Hampshire community, is speaking out to slam local police for failing to hold his attackers responsible.
Cassandra Merlin says her biracial son Quincy nearly strangled on August 28, when a group of neighborhood boys convinced him to wrap a rope hanging from a tree around his head, and then pushed him off a picnic table.
In an interview with ABC News, Merlin said she believes that the attack was racially motivated and she’s outraged that the teens responsible haven’t been punished.
‘It’s always been an attempted murder in my eyes,’ Merlin said.
In August, an eight-year-old biracial was nearly strangled by a rope in New Hampshire
The victim, Quincy (pictured), was reportedly convinced to wrap a rope around his neck by a group of neighborhood boys, one of whom then allegedly pushed him off a picnic table. He survived the attack
Merlin wasn’t present during the incident, but she believes what her son and daughter, Ayanna, have said about the confrontation.
Quincy and his older sister were reportedly playing in the park when an argument broke out with a group of older boys.
‘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.
The siblings came across the group again just down the road from their home.
Merlin says that the boys continued to horse around, breaking a tire off a rope swing from one yard.
They then took turns wrapping the rope around their necks, and eventually convinced Quincy to do the same.
Quincy’s mother, Cassandra Merlin, believes what happened was an attempted lynching
‘They told him to tie the rope around his neck. And he got up on the table, and he tied it around his neck, and one of the older boys came from behind him and pushed him off of the picnic table,’ she said. ‘My daughter started screaming and Quincy was, like, kicking his feet, and grabbing at his neck.’
Quincy was able to loosen the rope and he fell to the ground. His sister ran to his aide and then got their mother for help, while the group of boys walked away.
Merlin saw the marks around her son’s neck and immediately called police. He was airlifted to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center where he was treated for his injuries. He has since recovered from his injuries.
The story made headlines after Merlin complained about what happened on social media in a Facebook live video, saying that ‘racism is still so alive’ in America. Merlin, and many others, believe that the attack was racially motivated – an homage to the lynchings that permeated the South after slavery.
Merlin has been especially upset with police, who have yet to bring justice for her boy.
Initially, Claremont Police called what happened an ‘accident,’ based on testimonies that Quincy and the boys gave.
Merlin is white and her children are biracial. Merlin is seen with her hand around Quincy above
But they are continuing to investigate and the New Hampshire Department of Justice is aiding to determine whether a hate crime occurred.
The parents of the 14-year-old boy accused of pushing Quincy have since spoken out to Newsweek, giving a very different version of events.
Rhianna Larkin and Eric Sullivan say the nearly fatal incident was simply child’s play gone wrong and that their son can’t be racist because they have immediate family members who are black.
After the incident, the Dallas Cowboys invited Quincy to visit them
They say that their son never pushed wquincy, rather he jumped up behind him to scare him and Quincy jumped off the table surprised.
‘He said, ‘I grabbed around his legs and at that time, the rope had come lose and I noticed he opened his eyes,’ and then he was able to talk and stand. And [my son] said he couldn’t apologize enough,’ Larkin told the magazine.
It’s a story that Merlin doesn’t buy. Merlin, who is white, says she’s had to explain racial injustice to her son at a young age.
‘He always says to me, ‘You know, mom, what’s– what’s different about me?’ You know, and I always try to explain to him that it’s not– it’s not you, it’s just that some people are clearly rather ignorant.’
She says she’d like to see the boys responsible get counseling, and perhaps time in a juvenile detention center.
But the situation has also showed Merlin that there are a lot of good people in the world too.
More than $50,000 was raised for Quincy in a GoFundMe campaign, and he was even invited to visit his favorite football team, The Dallas Cowboys, in October.