Bill Would Add Noose Displays to City’s List of Offenses

Nikita Stewart, Washington Post, February 6, 2008

Displaying a noose on private or public property could become a hate crime under legislation proposed yesterday by D.C. Council member Kwame R. Brown (D-At Large).

The legislation follows a Jan. 22 incident at the construction site of the Washington Nationals’ ballpark in which a noose was found on the floor of a break room by four African American electricians. Truland Systems, a Reston-based electrical company, has reported that four white employees were fired after the incident.

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[Brown, chairman of the council committee on economic development,] said yesterday that the episode opened his eyes to a national trend in the increase of hate groups and hate crimes.

The display of a burning cross or swastika is illegal in the District if the exhibit is intended to injure or intimidate someone, cause fear of public safety or deprive equal protection under the law.

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