A Black man from Bloomington, Indiana was cornered, assaulted and threatened with a noose on Saturday (July 4) by a group of white attackers as he walked through the woods.
He took to social media to share video of the incident, which he called an “attempted lynching.”
Vauhxx Booker, 36, a civil rights activist and member of the Monroe County, Indiana Human Rights Commission said on his Facebook page that as he and a group of people walked in a public recreation area they were followed by a white man who seemed drunk on an ATV who accused them of trespassing on private property.
Although Booker tried to calm the situation down by speaking to some of the assailants who seemed sober, the incident quickly turned violent as the men started shouting “white power” and one of them talked about getting a noose.
“I don’t want to recount this, but I was almost the victim of an attempted lynching. I don’t want this to have happened to me or anyone. It hurts my soul, and my pride, but there are multiple witnesses and it can’t be hidden or avoided,” said Booker, in a lengthy Facebook post describing what happened.
He said that several of the men followed his group, then grabbed him and pinned him to a tree, threatening to break his arms. The commotion attracted others who tried to intervene.
Most of the incident was captured in a nearly eight-minute video and the assailants can be clearly seen in it, although they were not identified.
Officers with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources investigated the incident Saurday evening, but made no arrests, according to the Indianapolis Star.
“We need to immediately concentrate on bringing these individuals to justice to send a message in our community that hate will not be tolerated,” Booker told the newspaper.
DNR officials said that the investigation into the matter is continuing and that its agents are “working diligently with the Monroe County Prosecutor’s Office to ensure a lawful resolution,” according to a statement. “This matter remains under investigation and no further information will be released at this time.”
Meanwhile, Booker is continuing to contemplate what to do next.
“I’m not going to cry,” he said on his Facebook page. “I refused to die with these white men atop me while I struggled for every breath. I still refuse to be a hashtag or some racist’s victim. I do know that we as a community can stand against racism if we choose.”