Construction of the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago has been halted after a rope described as a “noose” was reportedly discovered on the work site.
According to multiple reports, including from the New York Post and Chicago Tribune, construction company Lakeside Alliance stopped work immediately and notified police after the rope was found Thursday morning at the site of former President Barack Obama’s museum and library in Jackson Park.
The Tribune reported that a worker handed a police officer “a white bag with what appeared to be rope inside.”
Lakeside Alliance told outlets in an emailed statement that “all operations onsite” had been suspended and employees would have to go through a series of anti-bias training.
The construction company said it has a “zero tolerance” policy “for any form of bias or hate on our worksite.”
“We are horrified that this would occur on our site and are offering a $100,000 reward to help find the individual or individuals responsible for this shameful act,” Lakeside Alliance said in its statement.
“Lakeside Alliance remains committed to providing a work environment where everyone can feel safe, be their best self, and is treated with dignity and respect,” it said.
Curiously, given the six-figure reward as well as the mandatory training for its employees, it seemed like there was no clue as to who left the alleged noose at the site.
The Obama Foundation called the supposed noose “a shameless act of cowardice and hate” and claimed it was “designed to get attention and divide us.”
“Our priority is protecting the health and safety of our workforce,” the Obama Foundation said in a statement to the Post. “We have notified authorities who are investigating the incident.”
According to the Tribune, the Chicago Police Department is investigating the matter.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker lambasted the incident on Twitter.
“Hate has no place in Illinois,” the Democrat said. “The noose is more than a symbol of racism, it is a heart-stopping reminder of the violence and terror inflicted on Black Americans for centuries.”
Hate has no place in Illinois. The noose is more than a symbol of racism, it is a heart-stopping reminder of the violence and terror inflicted on Black Americans for centuries. https://t.co/YQU0h1UEc8
— Governor JB Pritzker (@GovPritzker) November 10, 2022
The rope discovery at the Obama Presidential Center echoes a similar incident involving NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace, who claimed a noose was found in his garage before authorities ultimately determined that the “noose” was a garage door pull rope that had been in place for a year.
It also would be remiss not to mention that Chicago, where this latest alleged hate crime took place, is the same city where actor Jussie Smollett perpetuated a hate crime hoax.
Adding to any potential speculation, the Tribune interviewed some longtime local citizens who claim these types of acts never happen in their area. Sisters Rosemary Jackson and Patricia Catlett have lived in the neighborhood for over 40 years and said they were “shocked” because they’ve never had these kinds of problems before.
Assuming this incident doesn’t set Lakeside Alliance back too far, the Obama Presidential Center is expected to open in 2026.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.