A lost shoelace at Michigan State University caused a racial uproar Wednesday after someone mistook it for a noose.
MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon released a statement Wednesday morning saying she was “distressed” after finding out “a student reported a noose was hung outside of her room.” Simon commended the student’s “courage” for reporting the “racial incident” and put out a clear message.
“This type of behavior is not tolerated on our campus,” Simon said. “No Spartan should ever feel targeted based on their race, or other ways in which they identify.”
But by Wednesday afternoon, the investigation by MSU Police revealed there was no noose.
Instead, they found “the object was a packaged leather shoelace and not a noose,” MSU spokesman Jason Cody said in a news release, adding that the shoelaces “are packaged in a way that someone could perceive them to look similar to a noose.”
Officers tracked down and interviewed the student who lost both of the shoelaces. That student happens to live on the same floor as the one who made the report.
“Also, the original shoelace found inside the residence hall 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.