The photos of Black people who were killed by law enforcement or private citizens that were found hanging by nooses in a Milwaukee park were put there by a Black man trying to teach his son a history lesson and invoke a community conversation, the Milwaukee County sheriff's department said Friday.
The department decided against recommending charges, saying in a statement that it was “a misguided attempt to shed light on a subject difficult to grasp in this country.”
— Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office (@MCSOSheriff) June 26, 2020
The photos were laminated and contained information describing the incident that led to each person’s death. Those depicted were Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Botham Jean, Ahmaud Arbery, Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin.
The 53-year-old man told police that he wanted to start a conversation about the deaths and teach his son a lesson about the history of lynchings in America, the sheriff's department said.
“No matter how well-intended the individual was in placing the placards in public as an attempt to begin a dialogue, the takeaway from this, for all of us, is that coming to grips with our country’s recent history and dark past requires an ability to spark meaningful dialogue in a more thoughtful and sensitive manner," said Milwaukee County Sheriff Earnell Lucas.