Police now investigating after Rainn Wilson posts photo of noose found in Black friend’s front yard


It looks like justice might be served.

On Tuesday, Rainn Wilson shared a photo of a noose hanging on a tree in his black friend’s front yard and claimed the police initially brushed the incident off. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department announced Saturday that they will now be investigating the matter as a hate crime.

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So my friend Jamey texted me this photo. Looks pretty innocent at first, right? But when you learn that he and his sister are African American, the photo turns instantly chilling. This was hung in a tree in her front yard in suburban Los Angeles, to be found by her seventeen year-old daughter. When the police were called they said, essentially, “what’s the big deal?” Yolanda lost it. What’s the big deal? Well, officer, the noose is the symbol of lynching which was used to hang thousands of African Americans, especially by the Klan. Granted, this is a pretty lame noose. Might have been made by some local kids or something. Who knows. But the fact is it is as strong a symbol of racial hatred, violence and oppression as a Swastika. Many folks are in denial about the extent to which racism exists in our country in 2019. Just ask a Black Person. They will tell you stories. Jamey told me today that last year, while playing golf, he was looking for his ball in the brush and a white guy who wanted to play through called out “Hey, you can hurry up, we don’t have you picking cotton anymore!” Not sure if he was trying to be funny or not but literally Jamey’s great grandfather was an ACTUAL SLAVE on a plantation and was regularly beaten there. That’s not that long ago. Great grandfather. And, perhaps, a relative or two of Jamey’s were lynched. Or saw a lynching. Or heard of a lynching. And now, his niece gets to be reminded of what hate looks like. Right in her own front yard in suburban LA.

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The announcement comes after Wilson shared a disturbing photo of the find on Instagram–to his 1.6 million followers. Wilson said when they called the police on the day of the incident, officers essentially asked, “What’s the big deal?”

“Well, officer, the noose is the symbol of lynching which was used to hang thousands of African Americans, especially by the Klan,” the actor wrote. “It is as strong a symbol of racial hatred, violence, and oppression as a Swastika.”

The photo quickly went viral, amassing over 215,000 likes in one day.

The L.A. County Sheriff’s detectives are pushing back on the claim that they brushed off the initial investigation of the noose. Law enforcement told TMZ that when the officers arrived on the scene, the noose had already been taken down. Wilson’s friend had officers make note of the incident and provided them with photos.

Officers have also checked surveillance footage in the area, but so far have not found anything. TMZ’s law enforcement source told the outlet that the department is taking this hate crime “very seriously, especially in today’s climate.”

There are currently there are no suspects in the case.


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Dominic-Madori Davis

Dominic-Madori Davis

Dominic-Madori Davis is a recent graduate of the University of Southern California. She covers the internet, politics, and social issues.