Indiana police investigating allegation of attempted lynching after viral video
Police in Indiana are reportedly investigating an incident, partially captured on video, in which a crowd of white people allegedly threatened to lynch a Black man over the weekend.
A lengthy Facebook post on Sunday from Vauhxx Rush Booker, who said he was “almost the victim of an attempted lynching,” included videos with one showing several white men holding Booker on the ground against a tree while telling the person filming the incident to leave. One white man can be heard using a racial slurs, directed at Booker and another person who is off-camera.
According to Booker’s Facebook posts, in moments that were not caught on video, at least one person began yelling “get a noose” and “other choice slurs.” The incident ended when white onlookers refused to leave and began filming the scene, causing the group to release Booker, wrote on Facebook.
Booker went on to say that Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) police were dispatched to the scene after his group called 911. The incident occurred near Lake Monroe on state-owned land.
DNR police reportedly told the Indianapolis Star that they would file a report to the Monroe County Prosecutor’s Office but did not say whether any arrests had been made. An attorney for Booker said Monday that there have been no arrests.
“The Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Law Enforcement Division is working diligently with the Monroe County Prosecutor’s Office to ensure a lawful resolution. This matter remains under investigation and no further information will be released at this time,” the agency added to The Hill.
“My enduring gratitude to those who stopped merely being bystanders and acted to aid me, who told the police what they’d seen and heard, and who shared my outrage at DNR’s and our Prosecutor’s office inaction,” Booker wrote on Facebook in a post that has been shared more than 132,000 times.
The mayor of nearby Bloomington, Ind., wrote in his own Facebook post that he had contacted Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) over the incident and would continue to demand an investigation.
“These incidents affect us all, and I have reached out to the Governor, Prosecutor, and the victims in order to advocate for my residents who were victims of these great injustices. Although neither event occurred inside the city limits, under my jurisdiction, I will continue to call for and demand justice,” Mayor John Hamilton wrote.
News of the alleged attack comes amid nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice following the May 25 death of George Floyd, a Black man killed in Minneapolis police custody. A white officer has been charged with second-degree murder in Floyd’s death.
This article was updated with a statement from Indiana DNR at 11:00 p.m.