NEWARK, DELAWARE (9/23/2015) The University of Delaware’s acting president now says three suspected nooses found hanging from a tree on campus were remnants of hanging lanterns and not a hate crime.
Nancy M. Targett had early today released a statement saying the rope and wire items were being investigated by university police as a hate crime.
“Earlier this morning I sent you an email about a student finding what was believed to be three nooses hanging from a tree in front of Mitchell Hall on The Green,” Targett said in a later statement posted on UD’s website.
“Thanks to tips from students who responded to our earlier call for information and the investigative work of University of Delaware police, it has been determined that the three noose-like items found outside Mitchell Hall were not instruments of a hate crime, but the remnants of paper lanterns from an event previously held on The Green.”
UD Police Chief Patrick Ogden said, “We received several reports from students who said they had seen the materials hanging in the tree. I am confident that we have determined the origin of these items.”
Targett said, “the sensitivity of our campus to this potential issue clearly indicates a need for continuing dialog within our community. I continue to encourage everyone to join me at the gathering scheduled at 4:30 p.m. this afternoon on The Green.
“The safety and inclusiveness of our campus are our top priorities, and we will always act quickly and decisively to respond to concerns of our community,” she said.
In her earlier statement saying the apparent nooses were being investigated as a hate crime, Targett had said, “Such cowardly and reprehensible acts are clearly designed to intimidate and frighten, and they are unacceptable on our campus. I assure you we will work diligently to get to the bottom of this situation, identify the person or persons responsible and hold them accountable for their actions. These hateful acts stand in stark contrast to the peaceful protest and discussion held near the same spot just one day ago.”
The Review, the UD student newspaper, reported the items were crudely made with rope and bent coat hangers. The Review said the nooses were discovered by sophomore Harry Lewis.