Fact Check

Was Winston-Salem Student Kendra Shanice Reid Murdered on Video?

A disturbing video purportedly showing two men lynching a black woman was not related to the death of Kendra Shanice Reid.

Published May 12, 2017

A video shows two men lynching Kendra Shanice Reid.

A disturbing video purportedly showing two white men lynching a young black woman in a room decorated with the confederate flag went viral shortly after news broke that Winston-Salem State University student Kendra Shanice Reid had been found dead from asphyxiation by hanging in April 2017.

This video and Reid's death were not related.

The video, which we will not post or link to due to its graphic nature (and the fact that we have not definitively determined that it is a hoax), had been online since at least February 2017, when it was posted by "Confederate's Revenge" on Daily Motion. In that video, two white men appeared to beat a young black woman, urinate on her, and then put a rope around her neck and lynch her. (The original video has been deleted but copies can still be found online as of this writing.)

The text that appears in the video suggests that it was initially posted in response to a January 2017 hate crime in which four black teenagers filmed themselves torturing a disabled white student: "Torture a white kid? Be prepared for this! We won't stop until the last ape leaves OUR LAND! This is what you deserve! Your Next."

The video didn't receive much attention when it was first posted online (one sign that it was likely fake), but it went viral three months later in the wake of Kendra Shanice Reid's death.

Reid was found in a wooded area, not a room, and a medical examiner ruled her death a suicide.

Although we have not been able to definitively determine that this video is fake, we are very skeptical about its authenticity, in part because it was online for nearly three months before receiving any media attention. This aspect is especially questionable because it was first posted at a time when news outlets such as Think Progress were tracking hate crimes in the wake of President Trump's election. Yet, as far as we know, this video was never tied to anyone's death.

Some social media commentators noticed that the woman in the video resembled porn star Trazcy Kush. However, we were not able to confirm the woman's identity nor locate the original video.


Hinton, John.   "Medical Examiner Rules WSSU Student Took Her Own Life."     Winston-Salem Journal.   9 May 2017.

Yan, Holly.   "Chicago Torture Video: 4 Charged with Hate Crimes, Kidnapping."     CNN.   5 January 2017.

Jenkins, Jack.   "ThinkProgress Has Been Tracking Hate Since Trump’s Election. Here’s What We Found."     Think Progress.   10 February 2017.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.