University of Delaware officials said three apparent “nooses” found hanging outside a campus performance hall Tuesday night were not “instruments of a hate crime,” but harmless remnants of lanterns used during a campus event.
The discovery set off a police investigation into what was initially believed to be a hate crime and swift reaction from University of Delaware President Nancy Targett.
“We are both saddened and disturbed that this deplorable act has taken place on our campus,” Targett said in a statement on Facebook Tuesday night.
Targett issued an updated statement to students Wednesday:
“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,” Targett said.
The “noose” incident was first believed to be a racist reaction to a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest on Monday of a speech by Fox News commentator and author Katie Pavlich, who has criticized the Black Lives Matter movement.
This article originally appeared on NBCNews.com.