A display of nooses has shocked motorists along an Oklahoma highway.

Tulsa television station KJRH reports that the owner of the display, Merle Martindale, says he's been a victim of crime in the past. Martindale says the display is not meant to be racist, just merely a warning to any potential thief.

But driver Terrance Reed Sr. says a noose in America represents what used to happen to African Americans. Reed says he considers the display to be an attack on his heritage.

Driver Dennis Varner says the display also bothered him. Varner says the display is discrimination and America shouldn't put up with it.

Okmulgee County Sheriff Eddy Rice says Martindale isn't breaking any law by having the display.

Martindale's wife said Sunday the display had been removed.