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Coroner sets the record straight for 1922 lynching victim in Indianapolis

The Marion County Coroner’s Office today (March 12, 2022) announced it has officially designated a little-known 1922 lynching in Indianapolis as a homicide.

The body of a 19-year-old Black man, George Tompkins, was found hanging from a spindly tree in Riverside Park. His hands were tied behind his back. But for 100 years, his death certificate said it was a suicide.

At a memorial program organized by the Indiana Remembrance Coalition, Chief Deputy Coroner Alfie McGinty announced she had issued a new death certificate, remediating one of the injustices meted out to Tompkins a century earlier. McGinty looked into the case at the request of the IRC.

Afterward, mourners showered carnations on a headstone commissioned by the IRC. For a century, the grave had gone unmarked.

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