Police at Michigan State University reported shoelaces found in two locations by students inside and outside of an on-campus residence hall were mistaken for a pair of nooses.
MSU police reported the misunderstanding late on Wednesday afternoon.
The department said a student lost a pair of leather shoelaces. They were packaged in a way that could be perceived as a nooses.
A student reported finding the shoelaces outside her room at Holden Hall.
The other set was found outside of the residence hall.
Officers said the student who lost the shoelaces lives on the same floor as the student who made the original report.
The university released the information in a press release on Wednesday, October 4.
MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon said the campus police and Office of Institutional Equity immediately began investigating after the student who discovered the object reported it.
The release did not detail which residence hall the incident happened in.
Simon said in the release: "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."
Nooses were tied around the necks of African-Americans to lynch them during the post-Civil War era.
According to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the nation's oldest civil rights group, there were more than 4700 lynchings in the United States between 1882-1968. Nearly 73 percent of the people lynched were African-Americans.
"Once blacks were given their freedom, many people felt that the freed blacks were getting away with too much freedom and felt they needed to be controlled. Mississippi had the highest lynchings from 1882-1968 with 581. Georgia was second with 531, and Texas was third with 493." - NAACP section on lynchings
A noose was reportedly found on campus at MSU in 2011. It prompted protests and an on-campus rally.
One was left at the National African-American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. in June of 2017.
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