HOLYOKE, Mass (WWLP) -Holyoke Police are investigating after a noose was found hanging from a tree in front of Maurice A. Donahue School Tuesday.
A joint statement from the City of Holyoke Mayor’s Office, Holyoke Police Department and the Holyoke Public Schools Superintendent/ Receiver Dr. Stephen Zrike reports that the noose was found near the Whiting Farms Road sidewalk in front of the school.
“Fortunately, the noose was not visible from the school, and to our knowledge, none of our students saw it prior to its removal. The Holyoke Police Department was immediately notified, and the noose was taken into evidence. This incident is being actively investigated by the authorities as a possible hate crime.”-Holyoke Public Schools spokeswoman Judy Taylor said in a news release sent to 22News
A school staff member found the disturbing object and it is now being investigated as a possible hate crime. The disturbing object was seen hanging in a tree in front of the Maurice A. Donahue School in Holyoke on Monday.
The noose was found near the sidewalk in front of the school on Whiting Farms Road. According to Judy Taylor, Holyoke Public Schools spokeswoman, the noose was not visible from the school and to the school districts knowledge, no students saw the noose prior to it being taken down. The Holyoke Police Department was immediately notified, and the noose was taken into evidence.
Taylor said, “Although there was no written threat accompanying the object, a noose is a visual symbol of violent racial hatred directed at African Americans, rooted in the history of lynching and slavery.”
“I am frustrated and saddened that such an act would happen here in Holyoke. While I am encouraged by the response from the Holyoke Police Department and the District Attorney’s office, our community must continue to stand up to hatred at every occurrence. We must meet that hatred with the love and respect that every person in our city deserves.”– Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse
The Holyoke Police Department and the District Attorney’s Office are investigating. They are using surveillance video from all over the city to try and find the person responsible for this.
“We are obviously committed to investigating this incident as much as we possibly can get to the bottom of this find out who did this and just send a message that hate has no place here in the city of Holyoke,” said Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse.
There was no written threat found with the noose. However, the school said the object it’s often seen as a symbol of violent racial hatred directed at African Americans.
Mayor Alex Morse is encouraging any school staff members, students, or residents to reach out to the city if they need additional support after this act.
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