Mississippi officials are investigating claims that white students put a noose around the neck of black football player at a high school. The claim was made by the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) on Monday. The incident allegedly took place on 13 October at Stone High School, in Wiggins, southern Mississippi. Up to four white students participated in the alleged assault near a locker room during a break in football practice, said the NAACP, adding that the noose was “yanked backwards” while on the student’s neck.
It’s probably one of the hardest cases I’ll ever handle in my career, because of the nature of it.
Stone County Sheriff’s Capt. Ray Boggs
The player, a second-year student at the school who has not been named, reportedly returned to practice after the incident. Mississippi NAACP President Derrick Johnson has called for a federal hate-crimes investigation. Appearing at a press conference with the student’s parents, Hollis and Stacey Payton, he said: “This type of behaviour should not be tolerated. No child should be walking down the hall or in a locker room and be accosted with a noose around their neck.” Mr Johnson said that earlier this year the white students allegedly involved had come to school displaying Confederate flags - seen by many as a racist symbol - from their vehicles.