When people talk about modern lynchings, examples such as R. Kelly and Bill Cosby are not legitimate. The story of 21-year-olds Ramon Smith and Jarron Moreland, however, is but yet another reminder that it is still a very real thing for Black people in America.
On April 18, the dismembered bodies of Ramon and Jarron were discovered by police in a pond near Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Three white men and one white woman have been taken into custody for the heinous crime.
According to WJLA.com, “Police arrested 22-year-old Kevin Garcia-Boettler, 43-year-old Johnny Shane Barker and the 16-year-old brother of Garcia-Boettler, who police say is the suspected shooter. Their mother, Crystal Rachelle Boettler, 40, has also been charged with accessory after the fact.” AccordinRg to court documents, “on April 14, Garcia-Boettler drove his brother to meet the two victims because he believed his brother was going to purchase a gun from Moreland. The sale was arranged through Craigslist and the two parties agreed to meet in a nearby grocery store parking lot. Garcia-Boettler told police that Moreland got out of a sedan and into the back seat of his van. He claims that he heard a gun ‘rack’ and told police he witnessed his brother open fire killing the two men.”
Sgt. Jeremy Lewis of the Moore Police Department said, “When [Moreland and Smith] entered the vehicle, the white men said they heard a gun being racked. So one of them fired four rounds.” In other words, when the white men heard what sounded like a gun being “racked,” they thought Ramon and and Jarron were preparing to shoot so they opened fire on them. It does not seem likely that you would immediately shoot and kill two people because of the sound of a gun being racked.
Kevin Garcia-Boettler, 22, told authorities transported the dead bodies to Barker who assisted them with “disposing the bodies” and cleaning the van. They tied cement blocks to the bodies so they would sink to the bottom of the pond. He also told police that they “removed both victims’ clothing and burned them in a barrel before dumping them in the water.”
According to court records “the teen is charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder, unlawful removal of a dead body, desecration of human corpse and possessing a firearm after delinquent adjudication. Garcia-Boettler is charged with accessory after the fact and unlawful removal of a dead body. Barker, is charged with accessory after the fact, unlawful removal of a body and desecration of a human corpse.”
Hardly any outlets have covered this tragedy. Hopefully, justice is swift for the young men’s families. Our thoughts go out to everyone affected by this terrible incident.