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Local politicians decry noose found in Black family’s yard

MASSENA (AP) — State and federal representatives from St. Lawrence County said they were disgusted by the targeting of a Black family who found a noose on the ground outside their home.

A resident of Massena posted a photo of a rope tied in a noose on the gravel on Facebook on Sunday.

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, St. Lawrence County Legislature Chair Joe Lightfoot, state Assemblyman Mark Walczyk, and state senators Patty Ritchie and Joe Griffo called for an investigation and said they stand with the family, WWNYTV reported.

“This hateful display has no place in the North Country — or anywhere in our nation — and we condemn it in the strongest terms,” the elected officials told the broadcaster.

The family, who asked local news outlets not to name them out of fear for their safety, has started a petition demanding the Massena police find and charge the person or people who left the noose in their yard.

“The noose is a racist threat with a long and unmistakable history,” the family wrote in the petition.

The Massena Police Department said in a Facebook post on Monday that it, “takes these matters extremely serious and anyone found to be involved in this will be charged to the fullest extent of the law.”

Earlier in July, the head of a state-sponsored regional diversity program left Saranac Lake in response to racist graffiti on a railroad bridge she said targeted her.

Nicky Hylton-Patterson had moved to the Adirondack region in December to take the new position of director of the Adirondack Diversity Initiative, a coalition of groups seeking to make the Adirondacks more welcoming and inclusive to all New Yorkers.

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