A Ferguson protester who took to the streets near St. Louis after the 2014 fatal police shooting of an unarmed black teenager says she believes her son’s recent death was a lynching in retaliation for her activism. Melissa McKinnies triggered an uproar on social media after making the claim on Facebook, posting a photo of her son, 24-year-old Danye Jones, along with the message, “They lynched my baby.” The post, which included a photo of Jones hanging from what appeared to be a bed sheet, was later removed by Facebook. Police said Wednesday that Jones was found hanging from a tree in a wooded area near his home on Oct. 17, but they believe his death was a suicide. In comments to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, McKinnies disputed police findings, saying the sheets he was hanged with did not belong to the family and that he had packed an overnight bag right before his death. St. Louis County Police have said they found no signs of foul play or trauma on Jones’ body, though an official cause of death will not be determined until toxicology test results come back. A rally to support McKinnies and her family is planned for Thursday at 5 p.m. in Clayton.
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