GALENA, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri NAACP called Tuesday for a federal investigation and the removal of a replica hangman’s noose on display near voting booths in southwestern Missouri.
The replica noose is displayed in a hallway of the Stone County building in downtown Galena with several voting booths nearby. Stone County Clerk Cindy Elmore has said the noose was covered up Friday after complaints from the Missouri Democratic Party.Missouri NAACP President Nimrod Chapel said the noose had been historically used to discourage Black people from voting over the threat of lynchings. He said the U.S. Department of Justice should investigate the noose on display in Galena.
“If this does not amount to voter intimidation, I don’t know what does; there is a noose where people vote,” Chapel said. “For centuries, the hangman’s noose has acted as a harsh reminder of pervasive mob-style executions of African-Americans.”
The Justice Department didn’t immediately return an Associated Press request for comment Tuesday.
Elmore said the display was put up several years ago and “has nothing to do with the election office.” She said it was a historical exhibit with a replica noose marking the last legal execution by hanging in the state, which occurred in Stone County in 1937.