Orlando, Florida – A crowd of over sixty Black activists stormed the grounds outside Orlando’s City Hall on Tuesday, protesting the results of a police investigation that determined the hanging death of a Black woman to be a suicide.
The group—largely composed of NGO workers, family members, and an “outraged” community—claimed the death was a lynching and demanded that authorities rescind their findings and keep looking until they uncovered a White suspect.
On Thursday, Orlando Police responded to a call of an unresponsive Black woman hanging from a tree at her home in the 1000 block of West Livingston Street in Callahan, a predominantly Black neighborhood in Orlando. The woman, 31-year-old Yolna “Yo-Yo” Lubrin, was pronounced dead at the scene. So far, an autopsy has not been released.
According to Police, Yo-Yo’s death was a textbook suicide. Though the conclusion was reached within 24 hours according to activists skeptical of the ruling. The decision appears to be informed and made after ample evidence was uncovered that suggested the contrary—a lynching—to be highly improbable. Citing a lack of physical marks on the victim’s body, worrying texts on the victim’s phone, a collection of witness statements, and a history of severe mental illness, the Police all but closed the book on the case of Yolna Lubrin for good.
Orlando’s Black community, however, remained “suspicious.” Without evidence, many suspected foul play and took to social media platforms, primarily Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, to spread false claims that Yo-Yo had been lynched. Some blamed a mysterious serial killer; others blamed the Ku Klux Klan. Others claimed she was actually found half naked, and her car was doused with gasoline.
The outrage seeped into the public space and even grabbed the attention of at least one Black advocacy group willing to organize the rally held on Tuesday. With no other options left, Orlando PD felt compelled to step out in front of the issue before things escalated even further.
“Although her cause of death is still being investigated and will ultimately be decided by the Orange County Medical Examiner’s Office, the deceased individual’s documented history of mental illness, witness statements, cellular communications from Ms. Lubrin, and the physical evidence observed during the autopsy all point to suicide,” Said the Orlando PD in an email to the press just before the rally.
Not much information has been made available about the mysterious Yo-Yo, but tidbits can still be found online. Leading up to her alleged suicide, the woman appeared to have led a troubled life behind closed doors. According to the Domestic Violence Registry, a then 19-year-old Yolna Lubrin is listed as having been arrested in 2012 for an undisclosed domestic incident. Accompanying that information is the mugshot of a woman whose appearance matches photos on memorial posts for Yo-Yo.
While the investigation into Yo-Yo’s suicide is technically still ongoing, Police revealed that, so far, the only physical injuries present on her body were from ligature marks found on the neck, caused by the hanging itself. If true, the absence of any bruising or damage to her extremities would suggest that Yo-Yo was never forced, cementing the case as a routine suicide. Still, some disagreed, asking the question, is it ever a routine suicide when the victim is Black and the method is rope?
“My sister is an African-American woman. Why is she getting swept under the rug?” Demanded Naomi Lubrin, Yo-Yo’s sister, during the rally.
Naomi would be joined by more than 60 other agitators outside City Hall demanding a different answer than the one provided by police. Lubrin’s mother, aunt, uncle, sister, and others attended, holding signs and chanting “Justice for Yo-Yo” at the event, described by sympathetic media as a time of “mourning, anger and suspicion.”
“I want the public to know that my sister did not die like this. Somebody put her on that tree,” she continued during an interview with Spectrum News. “I want the public, the community to know…I’m here to make sure we have awareness for her, and to whoever put her there, we’re standing for justice, and we’re not just sweeping it under the rug.”
“A LOT OF UNANSWERED QUESTIONS from Law enforcement. They are immediately ruling it as a suicide but finding any black person hanging from a tree in 2023 requires MORE INVESTIGATION no matter what. ESPECIALLY in this case because there are too many unanswered questions and not enough proof,” said organizer Miles Mulrain Jr. of Let Your Voice be Heard, a pro-Black and anti-White nonprofit on Facebook.
Formed in central Florida in 2016, Let Your Voice Be Heard is a 501(c)(3) seeking to hold Police and members of the White community “accountable” for their alleged actions against Black people. A search of the group’s official page reveals a history of mobilizing its followers to target White people for harassment. Posting photos, workplace phone numbers, and the addresses of those they perceive as “racist,” Let Your Voice Be Heard openly commits anti-White racial vengeance as a cornerstone of its activism.
Mulrain, listed as President of the organization, would be part of a growing chorus of voices spreading conspiracy theories surrounding Yo-Yo’s unfortunate death. Using his platform to imply that an unknown—presumably White—lynch mob was still at large, Mulrain would back up his scurrilous claims by evoking a similar incident.
In 2020, Orlando became the epicenter of a different hanging death, that of 22-year-old Nevan Baker. Like Yo-Yo, his death was also deemed a suicide, which triggered an outpour of Black rage and assertions of foul play.
Even the infamous Black attorney, Ben Crump, falsely claimed that Nevan was found tied up and had missing teeth and bruises along his body. Police bodycam footage taken the moment he was found hanging would quickly debunk the claims, and so far, no evidence of lynching has ever been uncovered in that case either.
“This is not the first time or the first time in a while this has happened in Orlando,” Mulrain speculated. “Just in 2020 we were asking the same questions about Nevan Baker, who was found hanging in a tree in a very suspicious way for it to be a suicide.”
The conspiracies being peddled by activists like Mulrain would be more convincing to the public if not for Orlando’s history of false lynching accusations. Without hard evidence, he appears to be just another in a long line of individuals seeking to capitalize on Black racial grievance in the hopes of financial or social payoff. Often referred to as “hitting the lottery” by those on the right, the term is used to refer to Black activists and the families of so-called victims who often stand to benefit the most in the wake of a racially charged incident, regardless of the circumstances or the facts behind it.
Sometimes, the gamble fails, and no event better captures this self-serving phenomenon than the one involving former Black actor and homosexual Jussie Smollett. Smollett hypnotized America when he infamously spun a web of lies, insisting that a group of White men accosted him with racist remarks, tied a noose around his neck, and doused him with bleach. In reality, Smollett paid two Black brothers to stage the attack in an effort to advance an anti-White blood libel as well as his own aspiring career as a social justice activist. For inventing the scenario whole cloth and wasting taxpayer resources, a jury found Smollett guilty of six felony counts of disorderly misconduct. He served only six days behind bars.
The Smollett story merely adds insult to injury, however. Despite a near-constant wave of false narratives from the media—which paints White people as oppressors and Black people as the eternal victims—evidence of the exact opposite is plentiful but largely goes ignored.
According to an article put out by the White civil rights organization, the National Justice Party, interracial Black-on-White murder is at a record high in the United States, but a seemingly two-tiered justice system consistently fails to convict those who perpetuate a bulk of the violence. However, the consequences of such a broken machine occasionally come back to bite its largest proponents and adamant defenders. In Brooklyn, a White, self-proclaimed ‘Antifa’ and dogged pro-Black activist, Ryan Carson, was brutally stabbed to death on camera by what appears to be a random Black man on a NYC sidewalk. While Carson’s knife point death is merely one such instance, further examples of innocent White people being subjected to Black brutality are numerous.
With Orlando Police and Black activists now at odds over the veracity of each other’s claims amid the Yo-Yo incident, it’s uncertain who will come out on top in the ongoing game of racial extortion. What does seem certain, however, is that if a Black person hangs themselves in the city of Orlando, Florida, one can expect to see an army of anti-White ideologues—armed with nothing but social media conspiracy theories—to come out and insist it was a lynching, regardless of evidence to the contrary.
“All of you know, Yo-Yo babysat everybody’s kids, Yo-Yo’s doing everybody’s nails, everybody’s hair. Everybody going out with Yo-Yo, partying with Yo-Yo, because she loved everybody. She loved to have fun,” said Yo-Yo’s aunt, Nataly Bivins, at the rally. “Just because she was a young Black girl in the hood don’t mean she needs to be dismissed.”
The Justice Report urges those struggling with their mental health and contemplating suicide to call 9-1-1 or the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 9-8-8. The story of the apparent suicide death of Yolna Lubrin is ongoing, and the Justice Report will provide updates as they become available.
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