JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Seven nooses and several signs were found at the Mississippi State Capitol Monday, prompting more nationwide attention and outrage ahead of Tuesday’s election.
Early Monday morning, two nooses were found at the Capitol. According to the Associated Press, five more have been found since. The nooses and signs, referring to the state’s history of lynchings, were found one day before the U.S. Senate runoff between Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith and Democrat Mike Espy.
Hyde-Smith has drawn criticism after a comment she made on the campaign trail referring to “public hanging”.
State Capitol police took the nooses and signs down and are investigating.
The Mississippi Department of Public Safety posted pictures of the signs that were placed at the Capitol and are asking for anyone with any information about people who may be responsible to contact MBI or Crime Stoppers.
Governor Phil Bryant released a statement Monday afternoon saying:
U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst issued the following statement in response to nooses and hate signs found this morning outside the Mississippi State Capitol:
Lt. Governor Tate Reeves also issued a statement saying:
The Mississippi State Conference NAACP responded to the discovery saying:
"While much of the information about the incident is still unknown, we firmly believe the current climate of racial and cultural insensitivity has contributed to a decline in civil discourse.
We recognize this moment as further evidence of the need to actively engage in the political process and hold our elected officials accountable for their rhetoric and voting records. We will continue to defend the civil and human rights of everyone in Mississippi and will work diligently to defeat hate wherever or however it materializes.
We are mindful of the vicious cycle of intimidation and divisiveness that has created the current political climate that at best disenfranchises minority voters and at worst is a threat to their wellbeing. We will continue to encourage and support efforts to ensure all Mississippians can participate in the political process and become more civically engaged."
Capitol police would not show surveillance video while they are actively investigating. Police say they are reviewing surveillance video of the grounds to see who hung it there.
We will continue to update this developing story.