Jacksonville, FL – A mannequin dressed as a police officer with a pig mask was used in a mock lynching found hanging over a highway.
Emergency responders were dispatched to the scene at about 6 a.m. on June 20, according to ABC. It was first thought to be a possible suicide on an overpass on a highway.
“The incident that occurred this morning depicting the mock lynching of a mannequin dressed in what appeared to be the uniform of a law enforcement officer is extremely disturbing,” Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said, according to ABC.
“Both the tactics and props used were a deliberate attempt to exasperate an anti-police sentiment and drive a divide in our community,” the sheriff added.
Sheriff Williams continued in his post on Twitter: “This incident was carried out by people wanting to undermine our dedicated efforts to keep our city safe. Too many good citizens are working with us to keep our community safe through active partnerships, and frank conversations about the challenges we face. This type of act will not be tolerated by our agency or our community, and we will work together to hold those responsible accountable.”
KHQ reported that the letters “KKK” were scrawled on it and the mannequin was dressed in a New York Police Department uniform with NYPD patches.
Investigators said they plan to search the mannequin for any DNA that may have been left behind by suspects, KHQ reported.
Steve Zona, the president of the Jacksonville Fraternal Order of Police said the act of hate was not representative of the community.
“It is representative of someone with a small mind and whose only goal is to cause division,” Zona said, according to ABC. “We are thankful for the support we have here in Jacksonville and we will not allow the actions of one person, or a few, to effect our commitment to serve.”
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said the incident was “appalling & disturbing” in a post on Twitter.
“We are working to come together & invoke change & growth in our community,” Curry said on Twitter. “We won’t let an appalling & disturbing act like this derail our progress. I won’t tolerate actions like this so blatantly meant to intimidate our police nor will I stand for it against any citizen.”