Edina police investigate noose left at community center

Latest in series of racist, anti-LGBTQ and antisemitic incidents around the Twin Cities

Police in Edina are asking the public for help locating a person they say may have information about a noose found hanging at the city's Community Center.

City officials say they found the noose — often a reference to lynching and a symbol of racial hatred — on Tuesday. It was just the latest in a series of recent racist, anti-LGBTQ and antisemitic incidents in Edina and elsewhere in the Twin Cities metro area.

Racist and anti-LGBTQ graffiti was left on Edina school tennis courts near Kuhlman Field earlier this month. And the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas said this week that antisemitic fliers have now been found in at least nine Twin Cities communities, including Edina, St. Louis Park, Hopkins, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Arden Hills, New Brighton, North Oaks and Cottage Grove. Racist fliers also were found in Lino Lakes.

A rally held Wednesday called for an end to racism and hate in Edina.

In the latest incident, authorities said the noose was found Tuesday morning at the community center on Normandale Road.

"It was harnessed to an implement on the building’s roof and hung in one of the courtyards. The incident was reported to police and the noose immediately removed," Edina police reported.

Before you keep reading ...

MPR News is made by Members. Gifts from individuals fuel the programs that you and your neighbors rely on. Donate today to power news, analysis, and community conversations for all.

A review of surveillance video from before the noose was placed showed someone near the scene who authorities believe might have information about the incident. That person is described as a white teenage male, wearing a black Vans hoodie sweatshirt, dark shorts, tall socks, black slip-on canvas tennis shoes and a backpack. He appears to be wearing a medical face mask in the images released by police.

Edina authorities are asking anyone who might have information to contact police at (952) 826-1610

Antisemitic fliers

In recent week, antisemitic fliers have been found across the Twin Cities metro area, in at least some cases left on front lawns of homes in the overnight hours.

Steve Hunegs, executive director of the JCRC, issued a statement saying the group "condemns the distribution of noxious propaganda fliers in neighborhoods across the Twin Cities metro area. Compounding this ugly antisemitism is the invasion of tranquil neighborhoods during the night."

“We hesitate to offer any public attention to these hateful provocateurs, which is what they seek," Hunegs said in the statement. "However, we wish to assure the community that there is no evidence of these fliers being associated with imminent violence and that we will continue tracking these distributions and are in close communication with our law enforcement partners."

St. Louis Park Mayor Jake Spano issued a statement Monday after finding one of the antisemitic fliers on his own lawn. He said the fliers serve “as a disgusting and sad reminder that religious-based hate remains a pervasive problem.”

“I’ve been in contact with residents of multiple faiths today and I can tell you that whatever the people spreading these hateful messages think they are accomplishing in dividing people, it’s having the exact opposite effect,” Spano said.

Spano said anyone who receives such a flier — or has information about who is distributing them — should contact police.