After condemning reports of a noose left in a dorm last week, Michigan State University leaders are now saying the incident was a misunderstanding. The noose in question, they said, was a peculiarly packaged shoelace.
“After investigating, MSU Police have determined the object was a packaged leather shoelace and not a noose,” Michigan State spokesman Jason Cody said in a statement.
A matching shoelace was found outside the dorm, and officers located the student to whom both belonged. That student lives on the same floor where that the original shoelace, which was “packaged in a way that someone could perceive [it] to look similar to a noose,” was found, the university said.
The shoelace was not targeted at any individual, the university said. Police believe the shoelace was dropped on the ground and then a passerby hung it up on a door handle, presumably in an innocent gesture.
The update came after Michigan State President Lou Anna K. Simon issued a stern statement after the university found the original “noose.”
“I want to be clear: this type of behavior is not tolerated on our campus,” Simmons said in the original statement. “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.”