RALEIGH, NC — A woman walking her dogs Sunday spotted what appeared to be a nose hanging from a tree in her northeast Raleigh apartment complex.
Residents who live in the Courtland East Midtown apartments off Six Forks Road told WRAL News they were shocked, disgusted and worried about their safety after seeing the rope.
“It was very uncomfortable to begin with, especially in this day and age,” one resident told WRAL News. “We immediately emailed them to let them know how we were feeling and asked them what they could do to make us feel more comfortable and safe in our neighborhood. We got a very tone deaf response.”
Residents reported seeing the rope in a tree on Sunday, and it wasn’t removed until after 9 am on Monday.
A staff member from the apartment’s office told WRAL News a member of the maintenance team removed the rope from the tree and discovered it was a dog leash.
Multiple neighbors thought it was a noose.
“That may have been triggering for some people in the community because it wasn’t that long ago here in our country, especially in the South, where … that was used to intimidate people of color,” said Gerald Givens, president of the Raleigh-Apex NAACP.
“That’s why it’s important that … we’re cognizant of our behavior and our reactions to things and that we do as much as we possibly can to be considerate of others.”
A member of the apartment staff suggested, “I am thinking somebody left it in the parking lot and a neighboring person put it in on a branch so the rightful owner would see it.”
So far, no one has claimed the leash or come forward to acknowledge putting it in the tree.
The resident said knowing it was a leash does not change her sense of discomfort.
“It still makes me very uneasy,” she said. “It seems like they are just brushing it off. While it may be just a leash, it shouldn’t have been hung up like that.”
Courtland East Midtown’s community manager released a statement, saying, “We take these types of matters very seriously and this behavior is completely unacceptable.”
WRAL News reached out to the Raleigh Police Department to see if they are investigating.