Alex Kotlowitz main art

Author and journalist Alex Kotlowitz participates in a community forum Thursday at the Joel E. Smilow Teen Center in Benton Harbor, organized by Neighbors Organizing Against Racism.

BENTON HARBOR — Many things have changed since Eric McGinnis died in the St. Joseph River three decades ago, said Alex Kotlowitz while speaking in Benton Harbor on Thursday.

McGinnis’ story was thrust back into the spotlight two weeks ago, when the Michigan Attorney General’s Office ruled the Black teen’s death to be a homicide instead of accidental drowning. The main suspect, Curtis Pitts of Benton Harbor, took his own life in 2003 at the age of 30. The attorney general closed the case, but the family is still looking at other forms of justice.

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