A rope noose was found hanging from a tree along the sidewalk near Penn Medicine’s Rittenhouse campus on Friday morning, though police said they don’t believe the racist iconography was aimed at anyone in particular.
According to police, at around 9:57 a.m., Penn Medicine Security were notified that a woman had discovered a noose in a tree near Graduate Hospital, along the 1800 block of Lombard Street.
Security officials at the hospital notified police, who arrived and removed the noose. Police said they believe the noose was not directed toward a particular individual, as it was not outside a specific home or address, and was instead simply hung along a street where the medical center is located.
"We understand that police are investigating the incident which occurred on the property of an apartment complex near 18th and Lombard Street," a Penn Medicine spokeswoman said in an email. "We are doing whatever we can to assist the Philadelphia Police Department as they seek the person or persons responsible for this despicable symbol."
Similar incidents of nooses being discovered have happened recently, as earlier this week, an employee of the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia was placed on administrative leave after he left a noose on a fellow employee’s desk.
Several similar incidents of found nooses have happened in recent weeks, including one found at the Smithsonian Institute’s African American history museum in Washington D.C.
Mayor Jim Kenney released a statement calling the noose "appalling." City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, who represents the district where the noose was found, said it "cannot be construed as anything but an act of racial terrorism."
"Lynching is a symbol of racial violence with a longstanding, ugly, and ongoing role in American society," Johnson said. ". The recent emboldening of racial hatred is a deplorable and unacceptable trend, and I will do everything in my power to fight it."