Assemblyman Lavine Co-Sponsors Bill Cracking Down On Hateful Acts

January 29, 2008

Assemblyman Lavine (D-Glen Cove) announced that the Assembly passed a bill he co- sponsored, banning the placement or display of nooses or images of nooses on any building or other real property without the express permission of the owner (A.9480).

“Hanging a noose on someone’s property against their wishes or without their knowledge is a hostile act, rife with racism, intolerance, hate and the threat of violence,” Lavine said. “Today, the Assembly takes a stand and makes it clear that this kind of despicable behavior will not be tolerated.”

The bill provides that placing a noose or any drawn, painted or otherwise depicted image of a noose on someone’s property without their permission would be illegal and classified as aggravated harassment in the first degree. A similar bill is under consideration in the Senate.

Passage of the bill stems from recent incidents in New York, including one where a noose was found in the locker room at the Hempstead police station in Long Island and one in New York City, where a noose was found hanging on the door of a professor’s office at Columbia University’s Teachers College. The professor, who is African-American, teaches psychology and education and specializes in race and multiculturalism.

“Hanging a noose on someone’s property is traditionally viewed as an act of racism and intimidation akin to setting fire to crosses in public or scrawling swastikas on buildings – acts which are currently against the law,” Lavine said. “I’m hopeful this bill will be signed into law, and optimistic that it will discourage the cowardly act of hatemongering.”