An object reported to campus police as a “noose” was actually a shoelace, according to Michigan State University campus police.
On Wednesday a student reported that they had seen a “noose” hanging outside of a dorm room in her residence hall at Michigan State University. By Thursday, campus police had determined that the “noose” was actually just a shoelace. According to reports, the shoelace was tied to the door belonging to two black female students in Holden Hall.
“After investigating, MSU Police have determined the object was a packaged leather shoelace and not a noose,” Michigan State University spokesman Jason Cody said in a statement. “The matching packaged shoelace was found outside of the residence hall. 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 “original shoelace found inside the residence hall was not directed at any individual,” Cody added. “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 student who lost the shoelaces lives on the same floor as the student who made the original report,” Cody added.
After the shoelace was found, Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon released a statement, calling it a “racial incident.” Simon praised the “courage” of the student who reported the shoelace to campus police. “This type of behavior is not tolerated on our campus,” the president said on Wednesday. “No Spartan should ever feel targeted based on their race, or other ways in which they identify.”
“A noose is a symbol of intimidation and threat that has a horrendous history in America,” Simon added in her original statement.