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VA man convicted for harassing black neighbors after Charleston massacre with racist ‘scarecrow’

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A Virginia man was convicted Tuesday night of hanging a dummy from a noose on the same day of the Charleston church massacre so his black neighbors could see it, WJLA reports.

Jack Turner, 51, of Rocky Mount, initially told investigators the dummy was a scarecrow but later admitted he was racist and it was meant to scare his neighbors, John and Kena Mitchell.

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“If he can hang a noose, I don’t know what’s going to happen. I fear for my family’s safety,” John Mitchell told the court.

The Mitchells testified in Turner’s trial that he had been cordial when they first moved in but became hostile over time, calling the police on them and making obscene gestures.

But things reached a crescendo on June 17, the day that white supremacist Dylann Roof is accused of gunning down nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina in a racist attack. WJLA reports Turner put a black ski mask on a dummy and hung it from a tree.

Nooses and tree hanging are threats that hold a significant racist message because lynching was a common form of terror used by racists against black people in the South.

State law makes it a felony to display a noose with the intent to intimidate someone, and Turner now faces up to five years in prison and fines of $2,500. The law was enacted in 2009 and prosecutor Robert Deatherage said Turner is the first person convicted under it.

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Turner’s arrest for the noose and dummy didn’t stop him from harassing the Mitchells. After being arrested, he has displayed a Confederate flag on his porch and in a window that faces the Mitchells’ home.

WDBJ7 reports that Turner’s attorney plans to appeal the conviction because Turner had the right under the First Amendment to display the dummy.

“While we may not always agree with certain types of speech, through actions or words, we all have the right to voice our opinions and beliefs under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution,” attorney C. Holland Perdue III said in a statement provided to the station.

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Though Turner has been convicted, his neighbors still fear him.

“I still feel fearful because they let him stay out on bond,” said Traze Witcher, who is also African-American. “Once again he is my neighbor on my road. I don’t know what his next move or what his next thought may be.”

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Three right-wing ‘boogaloo’ militants arrested on terrorism charges in Las Vegas: report

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On Wednesday, federal prosecutors announced that three far-right militants with ties to the "boogaloo" movement have been arrested on terrorism-related charges in Las Vegas, according to The Seattle Times.

"Federal prosecutors say the three white men with U.S. military experience are accused of conspiring to carry out a plan that began in April in conjunction with protests to reopen businesses closed because of the coronavirus and later sought to capitalize on protests over the death of a Minneapolis man in police custody," reported Michelle Price and Scott Sonner.

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‘Trump became what we feared’: New Lincoln Project ad accuses Trump of using the Bible as a prop to boost his polls

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A brutal new ad from the GOP group The Lincoln Project called "War Zone" is attacking President Donald Trump for becoming what Americans have feared he would.

He didn't come out of hiding this week to help calm the nation or to bring Americans together.

"He wasn't there to offer words of calm and comfort," the ad said. "Instead, he became what we all feared. Evoked the worst of our past. Threatened our governors and states. He ordered our own soldiers who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan to flood the streets, instructing them to turn against Americans. Used churches and the Holy Bible as political props. He didn't invoke the Lord to give us wisdom, but to boost his polls."

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James Mattis takes swipe at Trump: We have gone ‘three years without mature leadership’

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On Wednesday, The Atlantic reported that President Donald Trump's former Defense Secretary James Mattis has written a furious condemnation of the president, saying he is incapable of "mature leadership" and accusing him of deliberately trying to turn Americans against one another.

“I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled,” wrote Mattis, according to the article. “The words ‘Equal Justice Under Law’ are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand — one that all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values — our values as people and our values as a nation ... We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution.”

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