MOUNDS, Okla. – Oklahoma drivers were disturbed this weekend by a display along the side of the highway with nooses hanging from a tree and signs with pictures of nooses warning people not to be in the area after dark.
Terrance Reed was one of the many people who pulled over in shock and he says the display is a direct attack on his heritage.
“If you think of a noose in America, it doesn’t represent anything but what used to happen to African Americans,” he said. “He got the right to do what he wants to do, he’s got a right to feel what he wanna feel, but I got a right to be angry about it too, and I’m angry.”
Owner Merle Martindale says it isn’t meant to be racist. He says he has been a victim of violent crime and is using it as a warning to any potential thief.
But drivers like Reed say that’s not the message the sign is sending them.
“If you put up a sign that says I advise you not to hang around here after dark, you’re making a statement,” said Reed.
Okmulgee County Sheriff Eddy Rice told KJRH that Martindale isn’t breaking any laws by having the display.
However, Martindale has now taken the sign and nooses down.