Oakland Police are investigating after several nooses were found hanging from trees around Lake Merritt.
Mayor Libby Schaaf said in a statement the alleged nooses have been removed and officials are investigating it as a hate crime.
Porchia Freeman posted a video on social media of one noose hanging Tuesday morning.
"I’m walking the lake and I see in my peripheral, a string swinging. I stop and stare for a second, then I walk and get a closer look," she said in a Facebook livestream. "And I was like, 'Oh no, am I really looking at what I think I’m looking at?'"
Freeman notified the city and public works employees have since taken them down. There are reports that a man has come forward to hanging the ropes but says he was using them to hang a swing set for his children.
But Freeman is skeptical of that explanation.
"It looks like a noose, it swings like a noose, I thought it was a noose," she said.
In her original video, the end of the rope is a significant distance from the ground.
Mayor Schaaf spoke with the media late Wednesday. She said regardless of the intent, there is no confusion over the impact it has on the black community.
"The fact that we had an extremist charged with the murder of Patrick Underwood, an extremist group The Bugaloo, that is trying to ferment a race war, we have to see this moment for what it is, a reckoning," Mayor Schaaf said.