CLACKAMAS COUNTY, Ore. (KOIN) — A bill introduced in Oregon’s Senate would make displaying a noose a crime of intimidation in certain circumstances.
Senators Ginny Burdick and James I. Manning Jr. sponsored Senate Bill 398. It would make displaying a noose on public property or on private property without written consent of the property owner a Class A misdemeanor if it was done with the intent to intimidate another person or place them in fear of bodily harm.
Both senators said they wished such legislation wasn’t necessary.
“I wish we were a state that was free of this kind of intimidation and racism,” Burdick said at the beginning of a public hearing Tuesday on the bill.
Manning referenced a recent incident in Eugene, where a couple allegedly discovered a noose placed on top of their trash and racial slur painted on their car.
A noose is defined as a loop at the end of a length of rope or cord, tied using a slipknot, and historically used in executions by hanging. The text of the bill also includes a “tied loop of rope or cord that would appear to a reasonable person to be a noose.”
Should the bill pass, a violation would be punishable by up to 364 days in prison, a $6,250 fine, or both.