A black female Florida attorney was sent a noose in the mail recently, the Orlando Sentinel reports, after she received two racist letters with threats. The Orange County Sheriff's Office is investigating.
Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala is Florida's first black state attorney. She believes the mail she received, which appears to have come from the same perpetrator, is a hate crime.
According to the incident report, she said she "believes the hangman’s noose was meant as a threat to her as a public official."
The crime may be tied to Ayala's recent announcement that she will stop requesting the death penalty for defendants — including accused police murderer Markeith Lloyd — which, according to the Orlando Sentinel, has placed her on the frontline of debate.
Ayala has since been removed from 23 capital cases by Gov. Rick Scott. In turn, Ayala has sued Scott.
Authorities are enlisting the help of the United States Postal Service to track where the mail came from.
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