ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. – The FBI is investigating what appears to be a noose hanging from a tree at a home in St. Charles County.
“This issue that was brought to my attention, both in an email and text message at first—a picture of a rope appeared to be in the shape of a noose,” John Bowman, president of the St. Louis County NAACP, said.
The rope was seen in the front yard of a home on Parr Road. Our FOX 2 news crew recorded video of the hanging rope. Images have also been shared on various social media platforms.
“…We clearly know what a noose appears to be like or what it looks like. … We want to make sure we head off anything that could create a very negative impact on communities of color,” Bowman said.
A spokesperson for the St. Charles County Police Department said they have not received a complaint.
Jeff Brinkley, the property owner, spoke with FOX 2. He said he’s renting the property, adding that the renter has small children and was using the rope as a swing.
“He has two small children. The back of that house doesn’t have any yard for them to play in. They play out in the front when they’re hanging out with him, and they use that as their little swing that they play on,” he said. “I’m not exactly for sure how long it’s been there, but it’s been there for quite a while.”
Brinkley said he’s taken the rope down to prevent additional controversy.
“He’s a good young guy working, trying to take care of his family and give his kids something to do,” Brinkley said. “He just wants a place for them to play a little bit.”
Bowman is not convinced.
“You look at the picture; it does not have the appearance of someone being able to sit and swing,” he said. “And even if you are standing and trying to swing, it’s so close to the ground, I just don’t know how you could swing in it.”
The NAACP claims the FBI is investigating the matter. However, the U.S. Justice Department could not comment, citing policy preventing them from confirming or denying the existence of an investigation.