- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The investigation of a purported hate crime at the University of Delaware has ended after authorities admitted to mistaking leftover decorations that were draped from a tree as makeshift nooses.

Campus officials were alerted late Tuesday by students who thought nooses had been left hanging from a tree on campus not far from the location of a recent Black Lives Matter demonstration.

“This hateful display stands in stark contrast to Monday night’s peaceful protest and discussion. We condemn this despicable action and ask everyone in our community to stand together against intolerance and hate,” Nancy M. Targett, the school’s acting president, said in a statement Tuesday.

Within hours, however, officials retracted their concerns after realizing the supposed nooses were actually harmless remnants from a separate event.

“Thanks to tips from students who responded to our earlier call for information and the investigative work of University of Delaware Police, it has been determined that the three noose-like items found outside Mitchell Hall were not instruments of a hate crime, but the remnants of paper lanterns from an event previously held on The Green,” the acting president explained early Wednesday.

“I am confident that we have determined the origin of these items,” weighed in Police Chief Patrick Ogden.

No fewer than eight students had described the lanterns to authorities as resembling nooses before the investigation was halted, Chief Ogden told a local NBC News affiliate.

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