Black Muslim Teen Hanged, FBI Investigates Possible Lynching In Seattle

The FBI said it is reviewing the hanging death of a black, Muslim teen after the medical examiner changed the cause of death from suicide to undetermined and following pleas from family. However, Keita's body was discovered almost a month after that K9 search by a group of teenagers passing through the area. A search team with a K-9 unit was unable to find his body when the area was previously searched.

The rope that was used to hang Keita's body was tied to a branch about 50 feet high, Bukhari said, and his feet were dangling up to 8 feet above the ground.

The last reason stated in the medical examiner's report was Keita's "lack of any reported suicidal ideation or attempts".

"Originally the manner of death in this case was classified as suicide", associate medical examiner Stanley Adams wrote.

CAIR on behalf of Keita's family is urging the FBI to open its own investigation.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said it is reviewing Keita's death.

However, the agency's Seattle office told KIRO7 in a statement that it will do so "with consideration of federal law". The case is now under review with the FBI and if warranted, further investigation may be conducted.

The medical examiner reopened the investigation and changed the manner of death to undetermined - an unusual classification involving cases where very little information is available or if evidence supports conflicting conclusions about the circumstances surrounding a death.

Police said that foul play was not suspected.

"To be clear we don't know what happened but we want a comprehensive investigation into his death", Bukhari told BuzzFeed News.

Keita was a student at Running Start, a college-level program for high school students at Everett Community College and worked at a McDonald's restaurant, police said.

Rev. Kele Brown, of Seattle's Plymouth Congregational Church, says the group is "careful not to rush to judgment". "Historically lynchings were often deemed quickly as suicide without the benefit of thorough inquiry", she added. "Now those dreams are over".

  • Larry Hoffman