A fake body hanging from a tree with a knotted rope that resembled a noose was found in Oakland, California this week in what authorities are investigating as a hate crime. Oakland police said a witness called in and reported the “fake body hanging from a noose” around 8 a.m. near Lake Merritt Thursday and took down the offensive display before police arrived.
Pictures of the effigy posted by the Oakland police show a dark-colored rope wrapped around the figure which had a stuffed torso and that was dressed in black sweatpants. A United States flag was also found next to the figure, according to police.
The Oakland Police Department said they are working with the FBI to investigate the incident as a hate crime. This is the second incident this week that is being investigated as such. On Tuesday, Oakland police and federal authorities began another investigation after five knotted ropes that looked like nooses were also found hanging from trees around the lake on Tuesday.
A Black city resident later said the five ropes were for exercise and he put them up months ago, Time reported.
“We are in a raw and outraged moment as a city and a country right now,” Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said in a statement.
Schaaf also said the effigy was “a deliberate and vile attempt to traumatize and divide Oaklanders."
Oakland residents have been gathering in the city to protest since the death of George Floyd and there has also been some property damage caused by looting in the city.