State Attorney Aramis Ayala receives noose, racist messages in mail

In a press conference on the steps of the Orange County Courthouse, Florida Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala announces Thursday, March 16, 2017, that her office will no longer pursue the death penalty as a sentence in any case brought before the 9th Judicial Circuit of Florida. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP)/Orlando Sentinel via AP)

ORLANDO, Fla. (WESH) —An investigation is underway after a noose was mailed to the office of Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala.

According to an Orange County Sheriff’s Office incident report, an employee of the state attorney’s office found two pieces of mail addressed to Ayala that appeared to have a racist message.

The second letter, which was received about a week after the first, contained a noose made out of green twine and taped to a postcard.

Ayala is Florida’s first African-American state attorney.

The sheriff’s office redacted the contents of both letters.

Investigators said they have not determined if the letters were sent by the same people.

Gov. Rick Scott reassigned 23 of Ayala’s capital murder cases after she announced her refusal to seek the death penalty. Ayala is suing Scott, claiming he can’t remove her from the cases.

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