New York Outlaws Displaying Nooses as a Threat
By VALERIE BAUMAN
Associated Press Writer
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- The state of New York has outlawed the display of a noose as a threat, following several high-profile cases involving the symbol of racist lynchings.
Gov. David Paterson signed the law Thursday to make such displays a felony punishable by as many as four years in prison.
"It is sad that in these modern times there remains a need to address the problem of individuals who use nooses as a means of threat and intimidation," he said in a statement. "But it is a reality, and if we ignore it we would be derelict in our duty."
Nooses were found last year on a black professor's door at Columbia University, outside a post office near the site of the Sept. 11 attacks in Manhattan, and on Long Island.
They also have shown up in a black Coast Guard cadet's bag aboard a cutter and on a Maryland college campus. One of the more prominent cases involved black teenagers charged with beating a white student after nooses were hung from a tree at a Louisiana high school.
Conduct already covered by the law includes the display of swastikas on property without the permission of the property owner, as well as the burning of crosses.
Connecticut passed a bill this year making noose displays a misdemeanor unless property is damaged, which would be a felony. At least two other states, Louisiana and Maryland, have considered similar rules, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
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