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Man who put noose around black man gets off with probation

By Mason White 9:01 AM March 1, 2013
Matthew Herrmann 

By: Ryan Lee Hall
A man was arrested, charged and convicted after placing a noose around a black man, according to court proceedings in Illinois.

The northern Illinois man who helped put a noose around the neck of an African U.S. teenager has been sentenced to probation and ordered to write an essay on the history of lynching in the United States.

A Cook County judge also ordered 19-year-old Matthew Herrmann of Alsip, to then read the essay to the victim of aggression and other community members in an event known as a circle of peace.

A local Illinois newspaper reported that Herrmann was initially indicted on charges of committing a hate crime, unlawful restraint and battery. However, under an agreement with prosecutors, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery.

Prosecutors say he and two accomplices attacked 17-year-old Joshua Merritt, putting the noose around his neck and threatened him with a knife.