FBI probes death in jail

June 10, 1993|By Dallas Morning News

CORSICANA, Texas -- Responding to demands fro African-American residents, the FBI said that it has opened a civil rights investigation after the death of a 29-year-old black man who died in police custody Saturday.

Some blacks, including leaders of the local NAACP chapter, have charged that Craig Thomas was beaten to death by police officers.

Mr. Thomas' mother, Estella Washington, said she could not recognize him at the hospital because his face was swollen and beaten badly.

Yesterday, several hundred protesters demonstrated on the steps of the Corsicana municipal building.

"No justice, no peace," chanted the all-black crowd.

"I understand their concern," interim Police Chief Lewis Palos said after the rally. "I recognize that they have questions."

At the request of Mr. Palos, the Texas Rangers also are investigating Mr. Thomas' death.

Of the 45 officers on the force, there are no minorities, except Mr. Palos, who is Hispanic.

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