April 30, 2013 9:48:52 AM
MERIDIAN -- Someone hung a noose with a stuffed animal outside the office a Meridian mayoral candidate.
Meridian police tell WTOK-TV they found a hooded baby blanket with a stuffed dog's head hanging by a noose Thursday morning. It was outside the insurance office of Percy Bland, a Democratic candidate for mayor. Bland is black.
The Meridian Police Department characterizes the incident as a hate crime and sent evidence to the FBI for analysis.
Bland says he refuses to be intimidated and will continue his campaign. He faces Rod Amos in the May 7 Democratic primary.
Amos and current Mayor Cheri Barry both condemn the incident. Barry faces challenger William Compton in the Republican primary. Independents Walter Patton and Wally Hudnall are also running in the June 4 general election.