AFRICANGLOBE – Protesters marched through the University of California at Berkeley campus on Wednesday
Amid national protests decrying police brutality, three effigies of Black people were discovered hanging by a noose on the Berkeley campus at the University of California.
Police and students took the cardboard cutouts depicting lynching victims down Saturday afternoon from two locations on campus as demonstrations broke out to the theme of “#blacklivesmatter.”
“We’re uncertain of the intention of this. It could be related to the protests, but it could be racially motivated,” Claire Holmes told reporters. “We’d like to get to the bottom of it.”
The disturbing figures hanging from iconic landmarks on the Berkeley campus were reported to police just after 9 a.m., but a third effigy found through social media disappeared before police got to it.
Two of the photo effigies were labeled “I can’t breathe,” Eric Garner’s last words as NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo put him in a fatal chokehold.
One of the effigies represented Laura Nelson, a Black woman lynched in Oklahoma with her son, Lawrence, on May 25, 1911. Their bodies are shown hanging from this bridge as the mob poses from above.
Her effigy was found hanging from a tree.
Century-old wire reports show their bodies were discovered hanging from a bridge six miles away from their jail cell after a mob broke in, gagged its jailer and kidnapped the Nelsons.
The figure found tied to Sather Gate shows George Meadows, a 22-year-old Black man who proclaimed his innocence while being accused of murder and rape in Alabama, according to an 1889 report by Birmingham’s Weekly Herald.
A crowd of about 500 men then took Meadows from the jail to Pratt Mines near Birmingham where they “suspended him from a limb” and “riddled” his body with bullets, the report states.
Neither students nor police were sure who’s responsible for hanging the life-size images, but hope “it’s someone who wanted to bring attention to the issue,” UC Berkeley student, Spencer Pritchard, 21, said.
Campus police are investigating the display as a hate crime, Holmes added, but as of Saturday night no one has come forward with any tips.
Photos of a stuffed dummy hanging by a noose along the school’s greek row were also shared on social media, but Holmes said that was from a prior incident during an unspecified Halloween.
By: Nicole Hensley