The University Police Department is in the process of evaluating items left behind at the Homer Statue — the scene of the Sept. 7 hate crime committed there — to determine the "value” they have with respect to the investigation, per a press release distributed by Sergeant Ben Rexrode.
The update comes a week after the department reported a male wearing a dark-colored jacket, jeans and dark-colored shoes hung a noose around the neck of the Homer Statue at 11:15 p.m. Police responded at 4:20 a.m. and the incident was classified as a hate crime in a University-wide update early that morning. A noose is a recognizable symbol of violence closely associated with the lynchings of Black individuals, and leaving a noose on public property is a Class 6 Felony under Virginia law.
“There was no substantive note that reflected any threats, motive or information that warranted notification to our community,” Rexrode said.
In a statement to The Cavalier Daily, Rexrode said the department cannot comment on the content of any item left behind, as at this point, the department does not know if there is “any connection” to the noose that was left.
“This is a deeply concerning incident on our Grounds and we understand that our community wants and deserves information,” Rexrode said. “However, we must take care to preserve the integrity of our investigative process by not releasing information that only the suspect or persons who have intimate knowledge of this event would know.”
Rexrode said UPD is working with the local Federal Bureau of Investigation to enhance the video of the incident and develop more information in order to identify and apprehend the subject.
Anyone with information regarding the investigation or the person responsible should contact UPD at 434-924-7166 or email email@example.com.