Rexdale W. Henry was a community activist, civil rights advocate, stickball coach, and candidate for the upcoming Choctaw Tribal Council elections. On July 9th, he was arrested for failure to pay a traffic fine. Five days later, he was found dead in his jail cell.
His body was discovered on the morning of July 14th at the Neshoba County Jail in Philadelphia, Mississippi. Those close to Henry immediately insisted on an independent autopsy to determine cause of death.
Henry’s case follows the public uproar surrounding the death of Sandra Bland, who was also found dead after being arrested and incarcerated for a minor violation. Bland’s death was ruled a suicide, something that her friends and family have protested.
According to the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, African Americans and Native Americans are far more likely to die at the hands of law enforcement than any other racial groups. Sandra Bland was African American, and Rexdale Henry was Native American.
The independent probe conducted by Henry’s family is being aided by civil rights activists John Steele and Diane Nash. The family has said that the results of the autopsy will be made public after their conclusion.