New Black Panthers protest handling of Alfred Wright death investigation
Jasper, Texas (KBMT) — Protesters with The New Black Panther Party and the family of Alfred Wright held a demonstration in Jasper Monday.
The gathering, called "National Rally for Justice for Alfred Wright" was held at the Texas Rangers office in Jasper on Highway 190 West. The rally was the second held since Wright disappeared November 7, 2013.
Participants in the protest demanded entry into the Department of Public Safety building. They said they wanted to see Ranger Danny Young whose involvement in the investigation has been under question by the Wright family.
Trooper Young was not at the building. Troopers stood side-by-side to keep the protesters from entering the building.
The Wrignt family said its goal was not to promote violence or aggression, but to simply get more people involved in applying pressure on officials to take a deeper look in to his death.
According to 12News file stories, Wright's truck had been having problems all week and was overheating when he pulled into the CL&M liquor store on a quiet stretch of Route 87. Wright, a physical therapist, had been on his way to treat a client in the nearby town of Hemphill.
CNN reported that Wright called his wife Lauren and gave her specific directions where to pick him up. Yet, because she was home with their two young sons, who'd been to the doctor earlier in the day, his parents, Douglas and Rosalind Wright, set out instead on the hour-long drive.
They were not far away when Wright simply disappeared. His wife tried reaching him just after 6 p.m. and says she heard "heavy breathing as if he were in distress of some sort."
That was the last she heard.
A day after Alfred Wright disappeared, his watch and items of clothing were found on a ranch about a mile from the liquor store. Sheriff Thomas Maddox called in deputies and volunteer firefighters from around the county to help in the search.
Yet despite finding Alfred's royal blue scrubs, his ID and his watch, Maddox called off the search for the 28-year-old Jasper man after only four days.
Wright's family and dozens of volunteers continued the search. They found his body in an area that had already been searched by deputies.
Wright's death was ruled accidental after the official autopsy found a combination of drugs in his system including cocaine and methamphetamine. Wright's family members believe the Sabine County Sheriff's Office is covering-up a murder.
Results of a second autopsy conducted at the request of Wright's family show that his death could be the result of a homicide. The preliminary findings were announced in December at a news conference held at the Bernsen Law Firm.
Houston forensic pathologist Dr. Lee Ann Grossberg said, "I have a high index of suspicion that this is a homicide."
Dr. Grossberg would not give many details, but said she suspects homicide, "based on the circumstances surrounding his death, where his body was found, and the findings of my examination."
This report contains file information from CNN