Oakland residents stunned to find effigy hanging from tree, after nooses reported

Tribune Content Agency

Oakland, Calif., residents found a body hanging in effigy Thursday, one day after the mayor addressed reports of knotted ropes resembling nooses hanging near the city’s Lake Merritt.

The Oakland Police Department is working with the FBI to investigate the latest incident.

According to a Police Department statement, a witness called at 8:20 a.m. Thursday to report “a fake body hanging from a noose.” The witness removed the body from the tree before the police arrived.

Images of the effigy, some provided by Oakland police and others on social media, show a rope wrapped around the neck and torso of a human-shaped object. An American flag is next to it.

The images indicate the body was adorned in black sweatpants.

Federal and city law enforcement agencies are actively investigating the incident, and have classified it — along with five noose-shaped ropes reported Wednesday — as a hate crime.

The discovery of the ropes came Wednesday as much of California is on edge about potential racial violence. The FBI and California Department of Justice are monitoring investigations into the deaths of two black men found hanging from trees in Victorville and Palmdale. Authorities initially said the men died by suicide.

The incident also comes as Oakland has been roiled by protests and property damage in response to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, as well as a federal investigation that revealed Tuesday that the suspect in the fatal shooting of a guard in Oakland in late May had ties to a right-wing extremist movement known as “Boogaloo.” Air Force Sgt. Steven Carrillo, 32, also faces state charges in the June 6 killing of a Santa Cruz sheriff’s deputy.


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