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Officials melt down over 'hangman's noose' found outside medical office, tell of 'shock, disgust, pain, and anguish' as hate crime probe launched. But it wasn't a noose.

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Photo by AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Officials with Kaiser Permanente expressed outrage over a "hangman's noose" recently found on a tree outside their medical office in Gilroy, California, KRON-TV reported last week.

The discovery prompted a hate crime investigation, KNTV-TV added.

What are the details?

Kaiser officials said the "noose" was hanging from a tree in the back parking area of the office off of Arroyo Circle, KRON said, adding that hospital officials said they were viewing it as a hate crime.

“This alarming discovery caused shock, disgust, pain, and anguish for our staff and physicians in Gilroy and throughout Northern California," the company said in a statement, KRON noted. "A hangman’s noose is a painful and triggering symbol of the history of violence against African Americans in the United States. Its sight stirs outrage due to bigotry and continues to be a threatening symbol of hatred meant to inflict pain. Investigations are still underway, but we are not waiting for the conclusion of these reviews to acknowledge the trauma this incident has caused.”

KRON added that hospital officials said they're providing emotional support for employees.

Oops

Turns out it wasn't a "hangman's noose."

Police — who said they were called about the situation on the morning of Feb. 27 — told KRON in a follow-up story that an investigation revealed the rope wasn't intended as a symbol of hate or racial animus and "there is no evidence to suggest that it was placed there with any ill intent."

The station said surveillance video reportedly showed an individual placing the rope in the location to propel himself up a tree to cut down out-of-reach branches and leaves. Police added to KRON that the rope was inadvertently left on the tree afterward.

“While this incident was determined not to be a hate crime, it is important to recognize the potential impact that such a symbol can have on our community,” police added to the station. “Police will continue to monitor the area and encourage anyone who observes suspicious activity to report it to the authorities.”

Here's a video report that aired prior to the determination that the rope wasn't a noose:

Noose found hanging at Kaiser Permanente facility in Gilroyyoutu.be

Not the first time

There have been numerous examples in recent years of dubious "noose" discoveries:

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