A noose was found at the construction site of Chicago’s Obama Presidential Center, temporarily halting construction work.
Chicago police are investigating after the wrapped piece of rope was found Thursday in a racist act that was widely condemned.
The noose is a symbol of the lynching of thousands of former slaves and their descendants who were hunted down, killed and often hung from trees in the Jim Crow period following the end of slavery in the United States in 1865.
“This shameless act of cowardice and hatred is designed to draw attention and divide us,” the Obama Foundation said, according to NBC News.
“Our priority is to protect the health and safety of our workforce. We have informed the authorities that they are investigating the incident.”
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker tweeted: “Hate has no place in Illinois. The noose is more than a symbol of racism, it is a heartbreaking reminder of the violence and terror inflicted on black Americans for centuries.
“I condemn this act of hatred in the strongest possible terms and the state of Illinois will make available all the resources necessary to help catch the perpetrators.”
A $ 100,000 reward was offered to help apprehend the perpetrators, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The incident led to a temporary halt in construction, the Chicago Tribune reported, citing the construction consortium building the center.
“The Chicago Police Department is aware of the matter and is under investigation,” police spokesman Alex Aguas said in an email.
The noose was reported to police by the Lakeside Alliance, a construction team of black-owned companies that is building the Obama Presidential Center, which will be a museum and public gathering space in commemoration of Barack and Michelle Obama, the first president. African American and first lady.
Construction on the site began in 2021 and the center is expected to open in 2025.