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Oakland Mayor Launches Hate Crime Investigation Into Nooses Found At Park

A couple walks around Lake Merritt in Oakland, where several nooses were found hanging from trees.
Jeff Chiu
/
AP
A couple walks around Lake Merritt in Oakland, where several nooses were found hanging from trees.

Nooses found at a public park in Oakland, Calif., will be removed and investigated as hate crimes, according to Mayor Libby Schaaf.

The news follows the hanging deaths of two black men that were originally ruled suicides, in Palmdale and Victorville. The FBI and the California Department of Justice have launched investigations into the deaths.

"Several nooses found on trees around Lake Merritt were removed and will be investigated as hate crimes," Schaaf said in a statement, "Symbols of racial violence have no place in Oakland and will not be tolerated."

Oakland city council member Nikki Fortunato Bas said the nooses were an "anti-black threat of racist violence."

The hate crimes probe comes after weeks of protests in Oakland and around the world over police violence and the disproportionate loss of black life.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Hannah Hagemann is a 2019 Kroc Fellow. During her fellowship, she will work at NPR's National Desk and Weekend Edition.