Authorities in Mississippi are investigating after two nooses and several hate signs were found hanging outside the Mississippi State Capitol early Monday.
According to local station WLBT, the two lynching symbols were discovered around 7:15 a.m. and were promptly removed by State Capitol police, who are now investigating the incident.
The shocking discovery prompted a response from Gov. Phil Bryant, who condemned the vandalism.
“The perpetrators of this act will be identified and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Bryant said in a statement. “I have contacted the Department of Public Safety and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for assistance.”
The incident comes just one day before the Nov. 27, runoff between Senate candidates Cindy Hyde-Smith (R) and Mike Espy (D). Hyde-Smith is facing a battle of her own, however, after coming under fire for comments she made about attending a “public hanging.” She got an extra dose of public backlash after photos of her posing in a Confederate soldier’s hat surfaced on social media last week.
“I enjoyed my tour of Beauvoir. The Jefferson Davis Home and Presidential Library located in Biloxi,” Hyde-Smith, 59, captioned the photos. “This is a must see. Currently on display are the artifacts connected to the daily life of the Confederate Soldier including weapons.”
“Mississippi history at its best!” she added.
The Mississippi Senator’s recent antics have led companies like Walmart and Major League Baseball (MLB) to ask for their campaign donations back.
Authorities at the state capitol say they’ll review surveillance video of the grounds to see who’s responsible for hanging the nooses.