California mayor: Nooses found in city park, origin unclear

State News

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff gestures while speaking during a media conference on Wednesday, June 17, 2020, in Oakland, Calif. Schaff discussed the presence of ropes found at Lake Merritt. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Several nooses were found hanging on trees a city park, and the finding is being investigated as a hate crime, Oakland’s mayor said Wednesday.

Mayor Libby Schaaf said in a statement that the nooses were found Tuesday evening on trees around Oakland’s Lake Merritt and were removed. She did not say how many were discovered, where precisely they were discovered or give any other details.

In the statement posted on Twitter, Schaaf said there were reports that the nooses might have been part of exercise equipment, but that does “not remove nor excuse their tortuous and terrorizing effects.”

The Oakland Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Schaaf told KGO-TV that police and public works staff were scouring the city’s public spaces Wednesday for any symbols of racial hate and violence.

“We have to be very clear about the history of these symbols and the current-day reality that racial violence is still very much happening,” she said. “And it is not acceptable.”

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