Police investigating effigy found hanging in California as a hate crime

Police investigating effigy found hanging in California as a hate crime
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Oakland, Calif., police and the FBI are investigating the hanging of a human effigy that was found near a lake in the city.

The effigy was found Thursday morning when a witness reported “a fake body hanging from a noose,” the Oakland Police Department told the Los Angeles Times.

Images of the figure dressed in black sweatpants were shared on social media.

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Local and federal law enforcement are investigating the incident as well as the hanging of nooses that were found on trees around the city. Both are being investigated as hate crimes.

“We are in a raw and outraged moment as a city and a country right now,” Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf (D) said in a statement, calling the effigy “a deliberate and vile attempt to traumatize and divide Oaklanders.”

The apparent symbols of lynchings come after two black men have been found hanging from trees in Victorville and Palmdale, Calif. The incidents were originally labeled as suicides but are now being investigated further. 

The situation follows weeks of social unrest in the country following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25. Floyd’s death sparked massive demonstrations in dozens of U.S. cities calling for an end to police violence.