University of Delaware police say what was originally believed to be “nooses” hanging from a tree on campus were actually leftover lantern decorations.
Officials say a hate crime investigation ended when it was determined the items were paper lantern decorations leftover from an event that was held on campus on September 16.
“The items that were left in the tree were part of a decoration from a paper lantern that was used during an event held on The Green that was a UD-sanctioned event,” University of Delaware Police Chief Patrick Ogden said Wednesday morning.
It was determined that the paper lantern decorations were removed from the tree, but the strings were never taken down, leading to them being mistaken for nooses.
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"We received several reports from students who said they had seen the materials hanging in the tree. I am confident that we have determined the origin of these items,” Ogden said.
Chief Ogden said a campus alert about the suspected hate crime prompted leads from eight students, who all said the wire inserts were not nooses.
University administrators, who released a statement online, plan to do outreach to the campus community Wednesday.