A university is investigating whether a noose found hanging from a tree on its campus should be treated as a hate crime.
The three-foot long rope, which had a loop in one end, was reportedly found near accommodation where summer students were staying at Stanford University over the weekend.
The university in California said the incident was being treated as a “suspicious circumstance” but it could be re-classified as a “hate crime” if more evidence came to light.
In a statement, published by KTVU, it said: “We feel it is important to state that a noose is recognised as a symbol of violence and racism directed against African American peoples.
“Such a symbol has no place on our campus.”
The university’s Department of Public Safety, which found the rope, said the incident was still under investigation on Wednesday, CNN reports.
This noose was discovered in a tree at #Stanford University outside where high school students and counselors , including many minorities ,were staying for a summer program. Stanford says it is investigating.
Some program participants say they felt threatened and scared. pic.twitter.com/URjlShp7cA— Marianne Favro (@mariannefavro)16 July 2019
The hangman’s noose can be viewed as threatening or intimidating in the US because of its historic association with the lynchings of black Americans.