'We won't tolerate it': former London, Ont. councillor on second noose found in the city
LONDON, ONT. -- In the span of eight days, in opposite ends of London, Ont. rope tied in the form of a noose has been found along environmental walking trails.
"If this is a trend that is something happening in our society, we don't want it to happen," says Harold Usher, a human rights advocate and former London city Councillor.
"We will let people know we won't tolerate it."
Officers were notified of the incident Saturday morning, by a member of the public and removed it from the east London trail shortly afterward.
London police don't believe a noose found tied to a tree along the Thames River, in Meadowlilly Woods is related to the incident at Warbler Woods.
Police say based on the condition of the noose, it appears the rope was ingrown into the tree bark, therefore suspected to have been affixed to this branch some time ago.
Police also say when discovering things like this, they have to understand that the public can perceive things differently.
"There are people have experienced tragedies with what that rope & Noose represents," says Staff Sgt. Ryan Scrivens of the London Police Service (LPS).
"We also have people who have loved ones who have taken their own lives who may see things as something different. As far as the investigation goes we have to follow facts, but be very empathetic and sensitive to experiences all members of the community have had."
On Sept. 4, a noose was discovered in the west end of the city in a tree in Warbler Woods.
Police have deemed that as a hate crime.
The London Police Service came under fire for not taking the first noose seriously, prompting Chief Steve Williams to issue a public apology for the delayed response to the discovery.
Usher says incidents like this aren't common in London, but more likely in Toronto and in the United States.
"If it’s something you are experimenting with boy scouts, you don't leave it behind," says Usher.
"You also don't leave it hanging from a tree or a rooftop because it's a dangerous symbol. We have to be on the lookout but let’s not be too negative about it."