GREENWOOD, Ind. (WISH) — A Facebook post by an Indiana state representative has drawn some scrutiny as some people believe it’s racist.
It involved a story on WISH-TV’s Facebook page about Marquise Dozier. He pleaded guilty Thursday to three counts of rape in Allen County. DNA evidence at one crime scene connected him to a pair of unsolved rapes in Fort Wayne. Dozier was identified through his fingerprints and arrested.
State Rep. Jim Lucas, a Seymour Republican, commented on our link to that story by posting a photo of a noose.
He’s not apologetic. He says it’s not about race, but another four-letter word which begins with “R” — rape — and his belief that people like Dozier should get the death penalty.
When it was pointed out that the subject of the story is an African-American and his photo is of a noose, he responded, “I didn’t see it that way. I see the subject as someone who committed rape.”
State rep. posts controversial picture of a noose in Facebook comment
Lucas said it’s an easy call. Dozier has pleaded guilty to three rapes, including one where he threatened the woman with a brick, and he’s been identified by DNA and fingerprints.
“To me, we don’t need people like that in society,” Lucas said. “This is a violent act committed against women and in my mind that rises to capital punishment.”
But, not everyone agrees. One Facebook comment said, “Jim Lucas something is wrong with you Shameful.”
The lawmaker acknowledges the evil and disturbing past of the noose and its connection to lynchings but said his picture has the exact same meaning as if he posted a photo of an electric chair or guillotine.
According to an image search, the photo Lucas used was taken several years ago of the gallows at the courthouse in Tombstone, Arizona. It’s a state historic park.
He said he’s used the image countless times in the past.
“I keep it stocked. That’s probably the easiest one that I find to use that gets the point across.”
It’s a photo he said he would use regardless of race.
“Wouldn’t matter. Rape is rape. That’s a horrible offense,” he said. “I can’t help what people choose to make of something, other than to say there was no intention of racism. I’m the least racist person I know. That disgusts me.”
While he’s not thrilled that others see it differently, he’s not backing down or going to stop using it in the future.
“No, because the application hasn’t changed,” he said. “Keep it handy, keep using it.”
Lucas said he’d like to see capital punishment for murder, rape and other violent crimes against people where there’s clear evidence and due process, even as innocent people behind bars in those same circumstances have been set free by new evidence.
Dozier is facing 72 years behind bars.