The Latest: Signs with nooses refer to Mississippi lynchings

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Latest on nooses found outside the Mississippi Capitol (all times local):

3:45 p.m.

Investigators say two nooses found outside the Mississippi Capitol were accompanied by handwritten signs referring to the state’s history of lynchings and to a U.S. Senate election.

The nooses and signs were found Monday, the day before a runoff between appointed Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, who is white, and Democrat Mike Espy, who is black.

The Mississippi Department of Public Safety posted photos of the signs on social media and asked for help in its investigation. One sign says Mississippi needs a senator “who respects the lives of lynch victims.”

Hyde-Smith drew fire for praising a supporter by saying she would attend a “public hanging” if he invited her. She later apologized “to anyone that was offended.”

The runoff Senate winner will serve the final two years of now-retired Sen. Thad Cochran’s six-year term.


12:34 p.m.

A Mississippi official says two nooses and six signs were found on the grounds of the Mississippi state Capitol.

Chuck McIntosh, a spokesman for the Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration, which oversees the Capitol, says the nooses and signs were found Monday morning shortly before 8 a.m. on the south side of the Capitol grounds.

He says the matter is under investigation, and he did not immediately know what was on the signs.

A local television station showed photos of the nooses hanging over tree limbs, and described the rest as “hate signs.”

Mississippi is preparing for a Tuesday Senate runoff between Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith and Democrat Mike Espy in a race that has increasingly taken on racial overtones.

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