Local residents claim they found a rope, two aces of spades and a newspaper with the picture of President Barack Obama on the branches of a tree near a main thoroughfare this morning — this as Obama ended his visit to Palm Beach County.
“It’s a hate crime,” said Rev. Patricia Wallace, who heads the Harvest African Methodist Episcopal Church. ”On the day that President Obama is in Palm Beach County, this is not acceptable.”
PBSO Spokeswoman Teri Barbera said the incident is under investigation but not classified as “hate crime.”
“It is a suspicious incident and we will thoroughly investigate,” she said.
The items were found in the tree of a vacant area at the corner of SR 15 and SR 441 that’s known to be used by locals as an outdoor clubhouse.
Traditionally, dozens of black men gather there nightly to play cards, dominoes and shoot the breeze — but county officials have decided to shut down the nightly get togethers.
Code enforcement inspectors and deputies swooped down on the property this morning and seized the chairs and tables that those who play cards there use.
The two aces of spades, rope and Obama photo were found soon after county officials left.
“The vacant lot has been a problem area,” Barbera said. ”It’s a public nuisance. Those who sit there leave behind wrappers and cans of soda and garbage. We’re talking to the property owner about it.”