Stanford University has launched a hate crime investigation after a noose was found hanging from a tree at a residence hall.
In an email to students and staff, university officials said campus safety authorities immediately “removed the noose and retained it as evidence” after it was discovered at around 7:45 pm Sunday outside Branner Hall.
Campus police have interviewed students and maintenance workers to try and find out when the noose had been put on display, and identify a potential suspect or suspects.
“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,” said the email from Vice Provosts Susie Brubaker-Cole and Patrick Dunkley. “It is the moral responsibility of those with any knowledge of this incident to come forward” so appropriate action can be taken.
It’s the third such incident to have taken place at Stanford in as many years, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
In 2019, a noose was found hanging on a tree near a residence for summer students. In 2021, two loose ropes that resembled nooses were found dangling from a tree near a walking trail.
No arrests have been made in connection with those earlier incidents.
Stanford University President Marc Tessier-Lavigne released a statement Monday, expressing his “distress and outrage” at the discovery of the noose.
“It is especially dispiriting that this incident does not exist in isolation, but is part of a longer series of incidents, here and elsewhere, that continue to seek to intimidate and marginalize members of the Black community and many other communities because of their identity,” Tessler-Lavigne wrote.
He added: “My heart aches for the members of our Black community who are experiencing a full range of emotions as a result of the appearance of this noose, including feeling targeted, fearful, or dismayed. I stand with you in rejecting hate and in stating that conduct of this kind has no place at Stanford.”
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