The circumstances surrounding a Black man who was found hanging in New Jersey deserve answers after his death was ruled a suicide without any investigation, according to an online petition.
Amani Kildea was found hanging in Morristown on June 28 but his suspected “lynching” was finally getting some national attention one week later as questions mounted in the 20-year-old’s death. According to the petition, Kildea had everything to look forward to, including beginning college in Virginia later this year along with aspirations toward a career in federal law enforcement for which he had already laid a strong foundation.
It was unclear why his death went “without investigation” and “was ruled a suicide,” according to the petition.
Local news outlet Morristown Green reported that Kildea’s adopted father described his son as “a beautiful but troubled young man who took his own life.” However, the petition stated that Kildea killing himself “death doesn’t make any sense.” It “could have been a racially charged lynching” since, the petition said, there was “No ladder, no nothing.”
The petition was started by someone named Taylor P. Kildea’s relationship to Taylor P. was not immediately clear.
Kildea was part of a social media-based group that identified and publicly outed the names of pedophiles. Although the author of the petition ruled out that being a factor in Kildea’s death, the Black Lives Matter Morristown founder suggested that could have played a role.
“Amani’s work in the community to expose sexual predators was brave, but dangerous, leaving him vulnerable to retaliation from those criminals,” T’Anna Kimbrough told the Morristown Green. “Despite [the local prosecutor’s] assertion that there is ‘no cause to believe there is any criminality involved’ in his death by hanging, Amani’s work in the community sheds light on a possible motive to kill and silence him.”
The Morristown Green reported that Kildea “graduated in February from basic training as a military policeman in the Army Reserves, dreamed of a career with the FBI or CIA, and was scheduled to attend James Madison University in the fall.”
Kildea was part of the “pedogotcaught” collective on Instagram that, similar to NBC’s “To Catch A Predator” series, lured pedophiles to false rendezvous with minors only to record them on video and out them as the child predators that they are. Below is a pedogotcaught video that appeared to feature Kildea’s participation.
Kildea was described in the petition as “an adopted child of white parents from Ethiopia” and “an active vigilante in his community helping to bring child predators to justice.” However, the petition also said pedogotcaught “was not even a factor when considering his death.”
A private funeral was scheduled to be held in New Jersey on Monday.
Kildea’s death came amid a string of other Black people being found hanging in recent months as the nation protests against racism, police violence and what is oftentimes the deadly combination of the two. Much like with Gildea’s case, concerned residents were also calling for further investigations into those possible lynchings.