On June 18, 2020, at 8:20 AM, a community member called the Oakland Police Department’s Communications Center to report a “fake body hanging from a noose.” The caller said they removed it from a tree in the 2100 block of Lakeshore Avenue, next to Lake Merritt.
Patrol officers, their Supervisor, and the Public Information Officer responded to the scene and observed material stuffed in the shape of a human body with a rope tied around the torso and neck, laying on the ground next to a tree with an American flag laying next to it.
The Oakland Police Department immediately notified the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Both agencies are working closely together in consultation to swiftly identify who is responsible for today’s incident and the noose incident on June 16th. Currently, both incidents are being classified as hate crimes. OPD obtained photos and collected all evidence. All evidence has been documented in a police report.
The Oakland Police Department and the City of Oakland understand the historical and harmful associations of ropes, nooses, and effigies attached to trees, limbs, or other objects that are often associated with hate crimes and racial violence. We recognize that especially at this time, any symbolic messages such as these incidents frighten and harm our communities. The Oakland Police Department and the City of Oakland take all allegations of hate crimes seriously. City leadership, including the Mayor’s Office, City Administrator’s Office, and the directors of the Parks, Recreation & Youth Development and Race & Equity departments were also notified.
Extra patrols have been assigned to Lake Merritt. OPD is working with the Department of Parks and Recreation and the Department of Public Works to be aware of any items or objects in the lake area that should be documented and removed. The Department is asking anyone who may have information regarding this incident to please come forward and contact investigators at (510) 238- 3728 or call our OPD Hate Crime Hotline at (510) 637-4283.
The Oakland Police Department wants to affirmatively state that our city will not tolerate any hate crime against a member or group within our community. If a community member is a victim of, or a witness to, what they believe to be a hate crime that has already occurred, we encourage them to call the OPD Hate Crime Hotline at (510) 637-4283 or if a crime is in progress dial 911. The non-emergency phone number is (510) 777-3333. You may choose to remain anonymous when calling the OPD Hate Crime Hotline.