Authorities in Lexington, Kentucky have identified a man seen on video wrapping his hands around the neck of an African-American Walmart employee and pretending to make a noose.
Lexington Police Department officials said the incident occurred Jan. 29 at the Walmart on New Circle Road. The woman was working as third-party vendor inside the store when a white male approached her table after she asked him a question.
“According to the victim, the man made motions with his hands, which he said was for making a noose,” the department said in a news release. “The man then lunged forward and briefly put both his hands around the victim’s neck.”
The incident was captured on store surveillance. Police released the video Wednesday in hopes of nabbing the suspect, who has since been identified but his name withheld. The investigation remains ongoing.
Lexington residents were left shocked and appalled over what happened.
“See why I carry my protection at all times!” a Facebook user commented. “You just never know when you’re going to run into some crazies and it’s only going to get worse with the man in the WH who condones this kind of racism!”
“You don’t put your hands on anyone!!!” someone else added.
One user said if they were in the victim’s shoes, they’d have “kicked him in his painful racist place he got that close to me saying that and putting his hands on me.”
Authorities said they’re investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.
Anyone with information that may help in the investigation is urged to contact Lexington police at 859-258-3600.
Watch more in the video below.