Man Indicted in Noose Display at Jena Six Rally

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A man was indicted on federal hate crime and conspiracy charges in connection with threatening marchers at a civil rights rally during which nooses were displayed on the back of a pickup truck, U.S. Attorney Donald Washington said.

Jeremiah Munsen, 18, and another individual allegedly conspired to intimidate African-American demonstrators at the Sept. 20 rally, crafting two nooses out of extension cords, attaching them to the back of the vehicle and repeatedly driving slowly by a group of marchers waiting at a bus depot to return to Tennessee, officials said.

Six teens, known as the Jena Six, were arrested after a December 2006 attack on a white student, Justin Barker, at Jena High School.

The case drew national attention, with civil rights leaders decrying the severity of the charges against the teens. The injuries to the white student were not considered life-threatening.

The indictment accuses Munsen of a federal civil rights conspiracy violation and a federal hate crime, Washington said.

According to a Department of Justice press release, "It is a violation of federal law to intimidate, oppress, injure or threaten people because their race and because those people are exercising and enjoying rights guaranteed and protected by the laws and Constitution of the United States.

"Our civil rights laws protect the civil rights of all Americans, and they remind us that we are all members of one particular race — the human race."

A noose is a hated symbol among Southern blacks who view it as a harassing reminder of lynchings in the past.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.