A Lyle Lovett band member spotted a noose in Montana. Police are investigating it as hate crime

Jul 25, 2023, 11:05 AM

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A musician who performs with Lyle Lovett and His Large Band found a noose on a light pole over the weekend, prompting police in Montana’s largest city to investigate the case as a possible hate crime.

Charles Rose, who plays trombone, says he saw the noose on a light pole a few feet from the band’s tour bus in Billings when he went out to get something from the bus on Sunday morning. Lovett and his band performed at an outdoor concert in downtown Billings on Sunday evening.

“I don’t recall seeing it when we first arrived this morning,” Rose wrote on his Facebook page Sunday, where he shared an image of the noose. “Scary. Needless to say I took it down.”

Rose later made a report to police. He did not immediately respond to a Facebook message from The Associated Press seeking comment on Tuesday.

Billings Mayor Bill Cole addressed the issue at a city council meeting on Monday night.

“Your city council, police department and city leaders take this matter very seriously,” he said. “We condemn any hateful speech or symbols of hate in our community.”

However, the investigation has so far not turned up any witnesses who saw the noose being placed on the light pole and police have not been able to find any surveillance video in the area, Cole said.

Nearly 30 years ago in Billings, the city united against racist attacks, with members of a painters union painting over racist graffiti that defaced a Native American family’s house and with people from several denominations providing security at a Black church after skinheads had interrupted services.

The city united again when hate flyers were posted near a Jewish synagogue, headstones were knocked over at a Jewish cemetery and a brick was thrown through the menorah-decorated bedroom window of a 6-year-old boy, the son of a Jewish rabbi.

In December 1993, The Billings Gazette newspaper printed a full-page menorah that people could hang in their windows in support of Jewish residents. A sporting goods store posted “Not In Our Town” on its reader board, giving name to a movement that was the subject of news coverage and later, a made-for-TV movie. It continues as a not-for-profit organization whose purpose is to “stop hate, address bullying and build safe, inclusive communities for all.”

National News

Associated Press

Kamala Harris is preparing to lead Democrats in 2024. There are lessons from her 2020 bid

ATLANTA (AP) — Kamala Harris was greeted by a massive, cheering crowd during the first rally of her newly announced presidential campaign in 2019. Speaking on a late January day outside city hall in her hometown of Oakland, California, she framed her bid as part of something bigger than simply winning an election. “We are […]

10 minutes ago

FILE - Unsold 2024 Escalade utility vehicles sit in a row outside a Cadillac dealership on June 2, ...

Associated Press

With US vehicle prices averaging near $50K, General Motors sees 2nd-quarter profits rise 15%

DETROIT (AP) — U.S. customers who bought a new General Motors vehicle last quarter paid an average of just under $49,900, a price that helped push the company’s net income 15% above a year ago. And GM Chief Financial Officer Paul Jacobson said he doesn’t see his company cutting prices very much, despite industry analysts’ […]

39 minutes ago

FILE - In this July 27, 2021 file photo, Simone Biles, of the United States, watches gymnasts perfo...

Associated Press

Biles, Osaka and Phelps spoke up about mental health. Has anything changed for the Paris Olympics?

Lydia Jacoby was a breakout star in the pool for the United States at the last Summer Games, earning a gold medal in the 100-meter breaststroke and a relay silver. Part of what comes to mind from those heady days in Tokyo? “People talking about post-Olympic depression,” she said. She was 17 at the time, […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Harris to visit battleground Wisconsin in first rally as Democrats coalesce around her for president

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Kamala Harris is making her first visit to a battleground state Tuesday after locking up enough support from Democratic delegates to win her party’s nomination to challenge former President Donald Trump, two days after President Joe Biden dropped his reelection bid. As the Democratic Party continues to coalesce around her, […]

2 hours ago

FILE - Buildings and homes are flooded in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura near Lake Charles, La., ...

Associated Press

Data shows hurricanes and earthquakes grab headlines but inland counties top disaster list

Floyd County keeps flooding and the federal government keeps coming to the rescue. In July 2022, at least 40 people died and 300 homes were damaged when the eastern Kentucky county flooded. It was the 13th time in 12 years that the rural county was declared a federal disaster. These are disasters so costly that […]

5 hours ago

Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, left, talks with Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell...

Associated Press

Senate to consider bills that aim to protect children and teenagers online

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate will consider legislation this week that aims to protect children from dangerous online content, moving forward with what could become the first sweeping new regulation of the tech industry in decades. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is set to announce Tuesday that he will bring the bipartisan bill up in the […]

6 hours ago

A Lyle Lovett band member spotted a noose in Montana. Police are investigating it as hate crime