I beg to differ with the findings and intended follow-up action of the Evanston Police Department regarding the noose event:  It is NOT a misdemeanor nor simply “disorderly conduct.” 

This act raises the specter of the horrors of our national past and the ongoing horrors of our present. 

Literally thousands  of men, women, and children met their tragic fate at the end of one of these nooses, and thousands more still experience the same, while not today by ropes but by knees on the neck, bullets in the back, or as objects of mass incarceration. 

I am frightened and dismayed that such a thing could occur in Evanston, and more so that it is dismissed as simply “misdemeanor disorderly conduct.” 

Visit the graphic images of what such nooses have led to and see if it is merely “disorderly conduct.”

Furthermore, the act of hanging those nooses would not seem to have been accomplished as just a prank by a minor, without the knowledge, assistance, and consent of some superintending adult. How/where could a child obtain the ropes?  How/why was a child permitted to be out that late at night alone? What assistance was needed to hang the ropes, and by whom? What is the accountability to be applied to those who were, or should have been, supervising him during the time period of the act? I am stunned, appalled, and frightened by this symbol of our horrific past and present; it is no less an equivalent to a Confederate flag.  

Larry Murphy

7 replies on “Letter to the editor: There is nothing simple about this misdemeanor”

  1. Mr Murphy, I could not agree with you more. My whole being shook when I learned this news. I have witnessed Black youth being placed in detention, suspended,& expelled particularly at Haven school for minor infractions. Students are placed in detention for tardiness, but this is a misdemeanor! I shutter to think what would happen to a Black child who participated in the most inhumane activities against a White person! Oh, I already know . A much less egregious act took place at Haven & the call for punitive punishment was was aired on every social media platform. Evanston, we continue to have much social justice work to do . Peace. Ms. Willie Shaw NAACP Civic Engagement Chair

  2. Dr. Larry Murphy could not have been clearer and more poignant in his description of this matter. If it were a reversed issue where it was Black on White or other ethnic or religious entities, the city or legal authorities would not accept it as a “misdemeanor” or simply a “disorderly conduct matter.” I share my voice in absolute support for Dr. Murphy’s eloquent and honest representation. A lot of missing information and investigative sources are being overlooked, and not being held accountable.

  3. I wrote a letter to the EPD, Mayor Biss, and Evanston roundtable and other media as well expressing these sentiments. I am grateful for your voice Larry and that the Evanston Roundtable chose to publish your remarks. This is where intentions and lip service intersect with accountability. Does “race has no place here” really apply in Evanston? Do “Black lives (really) matter” to Evanstonians? Then this is an opportunity to respond accordingly and not allow racial terrorism to stand and be handed in a light-hearted fashion with any excuses. Period.

  4. Larry,
    Once again your thoughtful words are much appreciated. This horrendous act is way more than a misdemeanor and as you pointed out, the student most likely had help from a parent/adult if not physically but certainly the kind of hatred and bigotry came from a household atmosphere not teaching inclusiveness.
    EPD, you need to do better!

  5. Dear Larry
    I felt similarly when I read the EPD’s statement but I didn’t say anything.
    Thank you for doing so. I pray for the courage to speak up against racism and stand with those who suffer.
    I feel blessed that you are here.

  6. Hello Larry & THANKS for your letter! I was shocked to learn of the EPD charge and agree entirely with your comments! Not only the student, but the enablers should be investigated & charged as well!

  7. Larry-
    Thanks for speaking out! With so much swirling around in the news, incidences get forgotten. The nooses should be thoroughly investigated.

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