A “noose” reported hanging from a door handle at a Michigan State University residence hall in an alleged bias incident turned out to be a leather shoelace, campus police said.
University President Lou Anna K. Simon released a statement Wednesday saying she was “distressed” to hear that a student reported a noose had been hung outside of her dorm room. Ms. Simon said racism would not be tolerated at the school and that MSU Police and the Office of Institutional Equity were investigating what she described as a “racial incident.”
The university issued a statement later Wednesday saying a police investigation concluded that the noose was nothing but an innocuous “packaged leather shoelace” that another student had lost earlier.
“The matching packaged shoelace was found outside of the residence hall,” university spokesman Jason Cody said. “Officers located and spoke to the student who lost both of the shoelaces, which are packaged in a way that someone could perceive them to look similar to a noose. The student who lost the shoelaces lives on the same floor as the student who made the original report.
“Also, the original shoelace found inside the residence hall was not directed at any individual. It originally was seen on hallway floor and later on a stairwell door handle, where officers believe someone put it after picking it up,” the spokesman added.
Student leaders received a notification about the “noose” incident from Vice President for Student Affairs and Services Denise Maybank, The State News student newspaper reported. Original reports that a noose was found on campus prompted outrage on social media. Student groups responded with tweets saying hate has no place on campus.
Recognize that we indeed live in a country where racism exists.
Recognize that you are stronger than it. pic.twitter.com/Av0QXy8WWS
— MSU-BSA ✊🏽 (@19BSA69) October 4, 2017
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