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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – Neighbors want to know who left a noose and White Nationalist flag in a Middle Tennessee neighborhood.
The neighborhood is along Academy Street near downtown Murfreesboro.
It’s an older established community that has seen a re-birth of sorts with people from all walks of life moving in.
Earnest Beal has lived on North Academy Street for about a year and a half.
“I’ve never had any issues in this neighborhood,” Beal said.
This past Saturday, Beal and one of his sons, noticed something unusual hanging from the fence that separates his house from the neighboring property.
“It was like the flag was stuck in between the fence right here, and then the noose was right here,” he said.
He was baffled.
“The first thing that came to my mind and out of my mouth was what the hell,” Beal said.
Beal doesn’t think he was the intended target, since the noose and flag was place on the fence next door and not at his home.
“I don’t think it was so much towards me; well I’ve never had any issues,” Beal said. “If it was my house is over there and they put it right here. It was a cowardly act regardless; it wasn’t here that night, I know that for sure. So, they came in the middle of the night to go ahead and do it.”
But he has his suspicions.
“The neighborhood is so diverse I think that has something do with them putting it in the neighborhood,” Beal said.
He’s now worried about his family.
“I always have to be concerned about my family because you never know what’s going to happen,” Beal said. “I mean, this is daytime and may not see anything, but my house right in the middle of this big lot and I have to make sure my family is okay.”
News quickly spread and folks in the neighborhood have joined together against hatred.
“It’s just not represented of, we know all of our neighbors, none of them,” neighbor Joseph Love said. “I don’t know, whoever did it seems like they don’t live here, it seems like a random thing, it’s pretty unfortunate.”
Love grew up in the neighborhood, and even lived in the home Beal now rents.
“Knock it off, that doesn’t belong in our neighborhood like go away,” Love said. “If you don’t like it go somewhere else. I lived here 30 years, I’m not going anywhere. Earnest lived here a couple of years, I don’t want him to go anywhere. Go take you hatred somewhere else.”
This comes almost two months after a scheduled White Lives Matter Rally in downtown was cancelled.
Love said there was some commotion near his home that day.
“There was a large gathering at the brick house on the corner here and we had people not from Murfreesboro driving around our block targeting the counter protestors like slowly going around targeting,” Love said. “It’s like go away, you make our living situation worse by bringing your hatred here.”
Beal is now keeping a closer eye on strangers in the neighborhood.
“That’s what I’m hoping for that it was a one-time act,” Beal said.
A Murfreesboro police filed an incident report and listed the bias motivation as anti-black.
The flag and noose were taken as evidence and police told News 2 they are looking into this case.