A man in Virginia already convicted of hanging a noose in his front yard dove back into his racist bag of tricks and was arrested again. Jack Eugene Turner of Rocky Mount placed a sign in his yard featuring a racial epithet that made a mockery of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Turner, 52, was set to face sentencing next week for the June noose hanging. The crime violated a state law of using a noose to intimidate others, which was notable as Turner’s neighbors are Black. Turner was arrested Tuesday for posting a sign that read “N—– lives don’t matter. Got rope?” which caught the attention of the authorities.
From the Roanoke Times:
“It looked like a piece of cardboard box,” said Franklin County sheriff’s Capt. Paul Caldwell, who estimated its size at about 3 feet square.
Turner was arrested in June after he used a piece of rope to hang a dark-colored, life-sized dummy from a tree. Witnesses at his trial said the display was a response to an ongoing dispute he had with his next-door neighbors, who are black. They testified Turner had sent them strange notes and frequently flipped his middle finger at them and at their relatives, who also live on the street.
Caldwell said that when sheriff’s deputies responded to the figure hanging in his yard, Turner initially said it was a scarecrow, but then acknowledged it was put there to scare people.
“He stated that he was a racist and he did like black people but did not like n—–s,” Caldwell said in court. After his first arrest, witnesses said, Turner also started draping Confederate flags in his windows.
Judge Joseph Canada ruled that Turner had violated a 2009 Virginia statute that prohibits hanging a noose to intimidate someone, a felony that carries penalties ranging from no jail time to up to five years in prison and fines of $2,500.
“The statute, in my opinion, was written for a case like this,” Canada said.
Turner’s attorney neglected to comment on his client’s most recent case but did vow to challenge the wording of the statute. The attorney further maintained that Turner has a right to express free speech on his private property.
SOURCE: Roanoke Times | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty