An Ohio resident says one of his neighbors has been hanging a noose outside his home off and on for more than 10 years.
The sight shocked people who were apparently seeing it for the first time as they passed by the corner of Bennett and Walnut streets in Ravenna, according to local station WKYC.
“It’s the same kind of noose with the thick rope that Blacks and African-Americans have been hanging from,” longtime resident of the area William Tarver told the news station. “When you tie that knot, you know what it’s for.”
Ravenna Mayor Frank Seman told the TV station the display is not a reflection of the community.
“Quite honestly, I thought by the time I reached this age, the difference in race would be a thing of the past,” Seman said. “I do not want to see it in this community, and we’re going to be challenging it.”
While Ohio doesn’t have a law that prohibits residents from hanging nooses, the racially-charged symbols have prompted laws in other states including Connecticut, New York and Virginia, according to various media outlets.
The Virginia Supreme Court ruled March 1, 2018 that displaying nooses on private property violates state law banning displays meant to intimidate in public place, Delmarva Now reported.
The Virginia law states:
“Any person who, with the intent of intimidating any person or group of persons, displays a noose on a highway or other public place in a manner having a direct tendency to place another person in reasonable fear or apprehension of death or bodily injury is guilty of a Class 6 felony.”
There is no such law in Ohio, but the state does criminalize conduct that causes another person to be afraid of harm, according to 11 Alive.
Seman said he would be investigating whether any laws have been broken in hanging the display.