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Missouri NAACP wants investigation of replica noose by polls

November 4, 2020 GMT

GALENA, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri NAACP on Tuesday called for a federal investigation and the removal of a replica hangman’s noose on display near voting booths in southwest Missouri.

The replica noose is display 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 following complaints from the Missouri Democratic Party.

Missouri NAACP President Rod Chapel said the noose has been historically used to discourage Black people from voting over the threat of lynchings. He said the U.S. Department of Justice should investigate.

“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.”

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A Justice Department spokeswoman said the agency as a practice doesn’t confirm or deny whether investigations have been launched.

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.