Authorities are investigating what appears to be a possible hate crime after a noose was found hanging at Stanford University in California on Sunday (May 8).
Officials at the private university say the noose was hanging from a tree outside Branner Hall, one of the undergraduate residence halls on the prestigious campus.
The officials added that they swiftly took the noose down and “retained it as evidence” before notifying the Stanford University Department of Public Safety.
Vice Provosts Susie Brubaker-Cole and Patrick Dunkley put out a news release that said, “We cannot state strongly enough that a noose is a reprehensible symbol of anti-Black racism and violence that will not be tolerated on our campus.” They added that anyone with information regarding the heinous act has a “moral responsibility” to come forward and report it.
The statement continued, “When faced with despicable acts like this, each of us must decide whether we will have the courage to help to do all that we can to prevent actions like this from occurring at Stanford, and to support those who are the targets of such actions.”
Stanford University’s Protected Identity Harm reporting process is a system that allows students to report incidents that happen on campus. A tip from the system claimed that the noose originated from a rope that was one of several left over from a performance that a student organization put on years ago.
“The ropes were never removed from the tree. It was discovered that one of the ropes had been made into a noose,” the tip said.
In the last few years, three ropes have reportedly been found hanging from the campus. According to California state law, hanging a noose is considered a hate crime and punishable by up to a year in jail or a fine of up to $5,000.