EAST LANSING – An item found on a stairwell door handle in a Michigan State University residence hall and initially believed to be a noose was, in fact, a shoelace, MSU police say.
MSU President Lou Anna Simon released a statement Wednesday morning condemning what appeared to be an instance of racial intimidation and saying, in part, that “No Spartan should ever feel targeted based on their race, or other ways in which they identify.”
By Wednesday afternoon, after further investigation, the university offered a different account of what had happened.
A matching packaged shoelace was found outside Holden Hall, the residence hall where the incident was reported, MSU spokesman Jason Cody said in a news release.
MSU police spoke with the student who lost both shoelaces which “are packaged in a way that someone could perceive them to look similar to a noose,” Cody said.
The student who lost the shoelaces lives on the same floor as the student who reported the incident. It was not directed at any individual, Cody said, adding that police believe someone found the shoelace and put it on a stairwell door handle after picking it up off the floor.
Both Cody’s statement and Simon’s original statement can be found at cabs.msu.edu/news/key-issues/issue-docs/racial-incident.html.
Contact RJ Wolcott at (517) 377-1026 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @wolcottr.