Cops Told Rasheem Carter They’re Not a ‘Taxi Service.’ A Month Later, He’s Found Dismembered in the Woods

A Mississippi man who was found dead last year under suspicious circumstances reportedly asked police for help twice but was turned away before disappearing.

Attorney Ben Crump, who is representing Rasheem Carter’s family, alleged in an article for MSNBC that Carter, 25, went to the Taylorsville Police Department twice about a group of white men following him in pickup trucks. Crump wrote that Carter — who filed a police report —  asked police for a ride to his hotel because he was scared, but they declined and told him they are not a “taxi service.”

Following the second visit to the police, Carter reportedly called his mother and told her that his phone battery was low. Crump said that Carter pinned his location so a friend who lived nearby could pick him up but he was nowhere to be found when the friend went to the location hours later.

“On November 2 — a month to the day that he went missing — Rasheem Carter’s skeletal remains were found dismembered and scattered in the woods just a few miles from the Taylorsville Police Department where he twice sought help. His skull was severed in half. Despite those disturbing facts, police have continued to claim that no foul play is suspected,” Crump wrote.

Carter, a welder,  was reportedly last seen at a Super 9 motel in Laurel. At the time of his disappearance, Carter was completing a contracting gig in Taylorsville, 100 miles from home. Carter’s mother said the short-term job ended when he and the business owner got into an argument at the worksite which led Carter to fear for his life.

At some point, Carter allegedly texted his mother about “not seeing eye to eye” with the business owner  — who Carter also said “would be responsible” if something happened to him. The family also claimed that Carter had called the police around the time he called his mother about white men in three trucks following him.

Trail camera photos apparently show Carter shirtless in the woods on the day he vanished. Detectives reportedly showed Carter’s family the image a week before his body was found last year. The images do not show anyone other than Carter, authorities said.

In addition to his head being severed from his body, Crump alleged that the State Crime Lab gave the family a box containing his head and spinal cord. Carter’s family also claimed that some of his front teeth were missing, suggesting an assault had occurred. While Crump said Carter’s remains were found in different locations, officials attributed it to animals.

However, Mother Jones reported that Carter’s family worked with a private investigator who determined that Carter’s severed, decomposing penis was in his mouth and that his bones were broken and cut cleanly in a manner inconsistent with an animal attack.

The investigator also alleged that police bungled the investigation and failed to take Carter’s disappearance seriously.

Earlier this month, the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation said that they cannot determine Carter’s cause of death. The Smith County Sheriff’s Department sought help from the MBI, who reportedly conducted interviews, and surveyed the area where Carter’s remains were discovered.

The department also fielded tips to gain more information about Carter’s last known whereabouts.

Smith County police reached out to MBI in November. However, a day after Carter’s remains were discovered, Smith County police publicly announced that it has no reason to believe foul play is involved in Carter’s death.

Despite this, the MBI recently said they and Smith County police are still investigating this case. On Wednesday, Crump urged the Department of Justice to investigate Carter’s death.

“It’s clear as day that Mississippi either isn’t capable, or more likely, is unwilling to investigate when a Black man is brutally killed, or dies from unnatural causes — like being decapitated and having his skull sliced in half,” he wrote.

“There should be no doubt that this was an act of murder, a hate crime — and a Mississippi lynching. But the Taylorsville Police Department and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations continue to ignore the cold, hard facts and railroad the family at every turn.”

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[Featured image: Rasheem Carter/Handout]