BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Recent incidents of nooses found on college and school campuses are disturbing more than students and parents.
Alex DeMetrick reports, for two Eastern Shore men, a noose is a powerful reminder of the last lynching in Maryland.
The historic jail in the Eastern Shore town of Princess Anne represents a painful history for Kirkland Hall and Henry Armwood. Both are distant relatives of the last man lynched in Maryland.
It was 1933. George Armwood was jailed for allegedly attacking a white woman. A mob formed outside the jail, before storming inside with battering rams.
“Once they were able to storm through the door, they went up the stairway and allegedly threw him downstairs,” says Hall. “They took took him down. They found a tree close to the judge’s house.”
“Things that can happen, that did happen,” says Armwood. “They could happen again.”
Mob murder and lynchings have made the noose a powerful symbol, which surfaced three times this month in Maryland.
“It’s unacceptable in our community,” said an Anne Arundel County police spokesman after a noose was found on Crofton Middle School property.
Two men were later arrested for that incident.
At American University, someone hung bananas on campus using nooses after the first African American student president was elected. And at the University of Maryland, College Park, a noose was found inside a fraternity house.
Police have yet to find suspects in those incidents.
“Just knowing that walking through this campus that there are people who don’t want you here, and that feeling that you don’t belong,” said student Yanet Amanuel.
“The message is stay in your place,” says Armwood. “That terrorist symbol, or the use of that, to keep us in our place. Doing what terrorists try to do. Intimidate and change people’s behavior through fear.”