AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Hate crime charges will not be brought forward against two juveniles suspected of leaving a noose at Amherst College’s football field.
The noose had been found over the Labor Day weekend at Pratt Field, which is where Amherst’s football team plays.
Mary Carey, spokesperson for the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office, said that prosecutors have consulted with the lead detective in the case, and reviewed all police reports and evidence.
“After doing so, and reviewing all applicable statutes and case law, we have concluded that the incident, although highly offensive, does not legally constitute a hate crime,” Carey wrote.
Nooses have long been seen as a symbol of racism and racial intimidation, due to their use in lynchings, which had been commonplace during the Jim Crow era.
“We are certaintly in a climate that this is still an issue, and its an issue across the country,” said Casey Burr of Northampton. “But I do think we are lucky to live where we are, but it is an issue everywhere.”
The Northwestern District Attorney’s Office decided the incident, although highly offensive, does not legally constitute a hate crime.
No charges are being sought against the two teens responsible.