Visitors to a park in Harlem named after Black icon Marcus Garvey were shocked to discover a “noose” hanging in the area. It turns out, however, the “noose,” was just some rope left over from construction scaffolding and had been hanging in the park unnoticed for months.
Nevertheless, outrage has ensued as protests and riots over alleged systemic racism in America have broken out across the country following the police-involved death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd. The officer who held his knee to Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, Derek Chauvin, was immediately fired and arrested within five days of Floyd’s death. Still, protests and riots rage across the U.S., with people looting and destroying businesses as well as setting fire to cars and buildings.
NBC New York reported that people in the neighborhood are “feeling a little shaken up” even after learning the real story behind the “noose.” Someone visiting the park took a photo of the rope on June 13, causing the outrage. The rope has since been removed and the incident was investigated by the New York Police Department’s Hate Crimes Task Force investigated the noose and determined it was not a hate crime.
“The NYPD Hate Crime Task Force investigated this incident thoroughly. According to the park director, it was left over from a construction scaffold that was removed in the fall. The rope was used to hoist construction materials,” the task force tweeted.
The NYPD Hate Crime Task Force investigated this incident thoroughly. According to the park director, it was left over from a construction scaffold that was removed in the fall. The rope was used to hoist construction materials. @NYPDDetectives @NYPDShea https://t.co/kWCBCbI1qd
— NYPD Hate Crimes (@NYPDHateCrimes) June 16, 2020
That’s right, the noose had been in the park for more than half a year before anyone noticed and thought it was a racist symbol.
PIX 11 reported that it was a Parks Department employee who alerted police to the alleged noose after the city’s 311 line was alerted by someone in the park.
“We are dismayed by this incident,” a Parks Department spokeswoman told Pix. “We immediately notified NYPD and removed the rope from the tree.”
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer immediately called the incident “despicable” for any investigation began.
“It’s disturbing that there are people out there who would do this, but we have seen these past few weeks that there are so many more who are against what this hateful symbol stands for,” she tweeted. “Our diversity makes us strong.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo also immediately jumped on the picture and claims of racism, releasing a statement about the “noose.”
“I am disgusted by the recent discovery of a noose — the epitome of hatred and an evil icon of our nation’s racist past — in Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park,” the statement read. “New York is no place for hate, and the progress we’ve made as a society will not be undone by the work of a few cowards.”
Even after it was determined that the rope was not a “noose,” but leftover construction equipment, people were skeptical.
“I don’t see how a rope like that could’ve stayed this long through winter storms through wind. And it’s just perfectly there?” one resident told NBC, adding that if it was from a construction crew then they needed to be taught not to leave hate symbols lying around. “If we want to think about what the noose symbolizes, it is literally a direct threat on the lives of Black people in this country for centuries,” the resident said.
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