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Crime, Law & Justice

Eugene makes it a crime of intimidation to display a noose

112321council_photo.jpg: screenshot from Eugene City Council Meeting on Monday, Nov. 22, 2021
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KLCC
Eugene City Councilors unanimously approved the ordinance to make displaying a noose a crime of intimidation at their meeting Monday, Nov. 22, 2021.

The Eugene City Council Monday approved an ordinance that declares displaying a noose a crime of intimidation. It also increases the maximum penalty for bias crimes. The vote was unanimous.

City Councilor Greg Evans, who is Black, initially proposed the ordinance. He has testified to the state legislature about his great uncle who was lynched in South Carolina in 1915 after saying something that offended a local white man.

Evans also told the story to KLCC.

"We have had situations where people have thought this is a funny thing to do, that it’s a prank, that it’s a joke, but it’s not,” said Evans. “It’s more devious and more sinister than some of the things you may hear about on college campuses like people dressing up in blackface and that kind of thing.”

Councilor Greg Evans reflects on his family's experience with nooses

The ordinance will be effective 30 days from when Mayor Lucy Vinis signs it.
The Oregon Legislature passed a similar statewide law this summer.

Copyright 2021 KLCC.