An investigation is underway after Florida’s first Black state attorney was sent two racially threatening letters this week, including one with a noose attached.
Aramis Ayala’s office reported the deliveries to the Sheriff’s Office after receiving the mailings in March, according to an incident report obtained by Orlando Weekly.
Staff at the State Attorney’s Office opened an envelope addressed to Ayala on March 20 revealing a note that said, “SOONER OR LATER A N—– WILL BE A N——” in black block letters. Three business cards also were included and read, “You are an Honorary Member of S.P.O.N.G.E.” on one side and “Society for the Prevention of N—— Getting Everything” on the opposite side.
The second racist correspondence arrived on March 28 and office staff believed it could be from the same person. The report said a noose made of green twine was attached to an index card. Investigators are working with the postal inspector’s office to look into the origins of the mailings.
Ayala “believes the hangman’s noose was meant as a threat to her as a public official,” according to the incident report, which noted Ayala said the messages could be a hate crime.
Days before her office received the first threatening letter, Ayala, an attorney in the 9th Judicial Circuit, announced she would not seek the death penalty in any more cases. Gov. Rick Scott took away the 23 death-penalty cases Ayala had been handling, leading her to file an April 7 lawsuit to see who should have authority over them.
Members of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus and people in favor of eradicating the death penalty have rallied behind Ayala, according to the Orlando Sentinel.