JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WJXT/CNN) - Investigators are looking for whoever hung a mannequin dressed like a police officer and wearing a pig mask from a Florida overpass in what the sheriff calls an “extremely disturbing” incident.
Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams called the incident “extremely disturbing” in a statement and said it’s important not to let it divide the community. (Source: WJXT/Shantel Bryant/Lamont Ross/CNN)
According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, police were called to the scene of a potential suicide by hanging Saturday morning on the Interstate 95 overpass in Jacksonville, Florida. They discovered a mannequin dressed in a New York Police Department uniform with a pig mask.
Lamont Ross and his wife Kiva are medical transportation drivers. They saw the hanging mannequin while driving and stopped to help.
"It was just totally unacceptable. We had to turn around. We was coming to assist, you know what I'm saying? We was fixing to take it down," Lamont Ross said.
Sheriff Mike Williams called the incident “extremely disturbing” in a statement and said it’s important not to let such an incident divide the community.
“Both the tactics and prompts used were a deliberate attempt to exasperate an anti-police sentiment and drive a divide in our community,” read the statement in part. “This type of act will not be tolerated by our agency or our community, and we will work together to hold those responsible accountable.”
The mannequin will be processed for DNA.
“Our goal, at this point, is to identify persons of interest for the sake of, most importantly, the members of our community and for officer safety,” the sheriff’s office said. “We are thankful that this was not a real person.”
Steve Zona, president of the Jacksonville Fraternal Order of Police, says this was an act of hate that does not reflect the values of the community.
“We are thankful for the support we have here in Jacksonville, and we will not allow the actions of one person, or a few, to effect our commitment to serve,” he said in a statement.
Copyright 2020 WJXT, Shantel Bryant, Lamont Ross via CNN. All rights reserved.