EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — A student has been charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct after three nooses were found on the campus of an Evanston middle school.
The boy, whose name was not released, has not been charged with a hate crime.
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Evanston police said Wednesday that the Cook County state’s attorney’s office reviewed the evidence and declined to add a hate crime charge “because the actions and motive of the involved juvenile did not meet the legal, statutory elements of a hate crime.”
The nooses were found hanging May 13 from a tree in Haven Middle School’s recess area in Evanston following a student-staged sit-in protesting staffing changes.
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Witness interviews, surveillance footage and cellphone videos led to the identification of the student responsible for the nooses, police said.
Students, parents and members of the community staged a protest days after the nooses were found.
The Evanston/Skokie School District 65 released the following statement about the incident:
On May 13, a hateful and outwardly racist act was committed on district property between Haven Middle School and Kingsley Elementary. The actions that occurred that day are unacceptable on every level. This attack resounds with a tone of hate and hurt that has affected members of our entire community.
The District is fully cooperating with the Evanston Police Department on its investigation which is currently under way. Given the active investigation, no additional information can be shared at this time.
Our school and district teams continue to work in support of our students to provide opportunities for processing and healing. We stand with our community and our school district will continue its efforts, intentionally and systemically, to fight racism and inequities in all forms. We remain fully committed to our equity and anti-racism efforts and look forward to the swift outcomes of the investigation currently underway.
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