Written by: @kristenshylin_
The story of Alonzo Brooks represents another person of color that was failed by law enforcement. Brooks, who would have turned 40 in May, died 16 years ago; his death remains unsolved.
In 2004, Brooks left his home to attend a party with friends, but he never returned.
According to witnesses, the party was in a predominately white neighborhood in La Cygne, Kansas. The 23-year-old was one of three Black people at the party.
Brooks’ family began to worry when they learned that his friends “forgot” him at the party, which was an hour away from his home.
After multiple interviews and blind searches, the police allowed Brooks’ family to search the scene a month after his disappearance. They found his body within an hour.
Due to the condition of Brooks’ body at the time, the coroner ruled his death undetermined.
Netflix’s Unsolved Mysteries featured the case of Alonzo Brooks in its recently released reboot. The emotional segment prompted the creators to offer a $100,000 reward for anyone who had information that would lead to an arrest.
Now, according to TMZ, producers from the show say they received a few leads in which they believe to be credible and have passed them on to authorities.
The episode of Brooks’ unsolved death spurred interest from the FBI and the Department of Justice. According to NBC News, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said he first learned about the case from the popular Netflix series.
After watching the episode, the attorney suspects foul play.
”It defies reason to believe that Alonzo’s death was a suicide or that he somehow accidentally tumbled into a relatively shallow creek, in Linn County, leaving behind his boots and hat, all with no witnesses whatsoever,” McAllister said.
Alonzo’s mother, Maria Ramirez, believes her son was the victim of a hate crime.
”I’m Mexican, and his father is Black,” Ramirez said. “So he’s mixed. They didn’t just target one race. Or kill one race. They killed two. He was targeted because of the color of his skin.”
McAllister urged witnesses to come forth.
”It is past time for the full truth to come out. The code of silence must be broken. Alonso’s family deserves to know the truth, and it is time for justice to be served.”
FBI Agent Leena Ramana joined McAllister in a call for answers surrounding Brooks’ death.
”It’s been 16 years, but we hope that with this passage of time, someone who has information will come forward,” she said.
The FBI and Department of Justice are reportedly working together and stated that they have already received several tips and are pursuing several leads.