Two Arrested in Noose Incident After Jena Rally

Published February 11, 2008

Posted Sept. 21, 2007 – Thursday's rally through the racially tense town of Jena, La., was apparently too peaceful for two White males who were arrested early Friday after dangling two nooses from their pickup truck in the former Ku Klux Klan community of Alexandria, La.

Police said that by displaying the symbols of hate, the two unidentified suspects, one 18, the other 16, attempted to incite anger among Black demonstrators who were waiting for buses for their return home. Alexandria, which is about 45 minutes south of the rally site of Jena, La., is where the White supremacist group the Invisible Empire of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan set up camp in 1987 and operated officially until 1995.

The 16-year-old passenger told police he and his family are in the Ku Klux Klan, according to the police report. 

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One witness,  26-year-old Cassanova Love, who took the picture of the red pickup, told CNN Friday that the two teenagers rode past the crowd of about 200 at least three times in the red pickup truck. But what the White teens didn’t know is that while they were trying to get a rise out of the demonstrators, somebody was busy calling the cops. Within minutes, police arrived and arrested the instigators.  Police say they found an unloaded .22-caliber rifle and brass knuckles in the truck, and the duo reportedly been drinking.

In a phone interview with CNN, Alexandria Mayor Jacques Roy says police are trying to determine whether the incident qualifies under existing statutes as a hate crime, terrorism or intent to incite a riot.  He said the 16-year-old suspect is taking responsibility for the incident, and the 18-year-old driver could be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Roy wants the public to know that the incident is “not indicative of the city,” and the two teens are not from Alexandria, which he described as a “culturally rich city.”

Written by BET-Staff

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