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ME Report: Spearman’s death determined to be suicide


According to the “summary and interpretation” from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, the cause of death of Rev. Dr. Theodore Anthony Spearman, former president of the North Carolina NAACP, “is attributed to a self-inflicted gunshot wound of the head resulting in significant internal injury involving the skull and brain matter.

The summary continued, “a bullet associated with the firearm discharge involved was recovered from the body at the time of the autopsy.”

But the summary has another startling revelation.

“Postmortem examination additionally revealed apparent self-inflicted small superficial cuts along the inside of both wrists- which did not substantially contribute to the demise.”

The report earlier states under “No contributory non-firearm injury identified - incised wounds of wrists, apparently self-inflicted using an X-ACTO knife.”

“No contributory natural disease is identified; and toxicological analysis of the blood showed no evidence of alcohol consumption.”

The final line of the summary makes clear how Dr. Spearman died.

“In view of the overall death investigation and postmortem examination findings, the manner of death is classified as Suicide.”

Indeed, the official “certification cause of death” is listed as “gunshot wound to the head.”

The listed “Direction of fire” for the “projectile track” of the bullet that killed Rev. Dr. Spearman “is from the decedent’s right to left and slightly front to back.”

As reported by the Black Press in July of last year, the lifeless body of Rev. Dr. Spearman was found in the basement of his Greensboro home, spread out on a couch amid a large pool of blood, by then Greensboro NAACP President Bradley Hunt, on the afternoon of July 19, 2022. According to the ME’s report, the autopsy was conducted on July 27, 2022. The medical examiner of record was Nabila Haikai MD, who signed off on the report on February 14, 2023.

In response to the information in the medical examiner’s report, Rev. Dr. Cardes Brown, pastor of New Light Missionary Baptist Church, a former NAACP Greensboro Branch President and a friend of Spearman’s said the following:

“While I understand the medical examiner made that determination based on his examination. The one thing that is not clear to me is that I knew Dr Spearman very well and I talked with him that night before his death. We spoke every day. We were on the phone Monday night from about 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. with members of the Justice Coalition. He (Spearman) was happy, the Justice Coalition was moving forward well with the defamation lawsuit (against key members of the state conference and Washington D.C. office of the NAACP). There was nothing indicative about him taking his own life. It does not belie what I know in my heart about Dr. Spearman’s character. The Wednesday before his death he was robbed at gunpoint. The person who robbed him was apprehended the next day. They arrested the person and he was bonded out of jail. Then Spearman was killed.

“Spearman was an advocate for human rights. He helped people. He loved his wife and his family. That was not Anthony Spearman.”

More reactions to Spearman’s cause of death will appear in the next edition of The Peacemaker.