A noose was found at the Obama Presidential Center construction site in Chicago, temporarily halting construction.
Chicago police are investigating after discovering the looped rope on Thursday, a widely condemned act of racism.
The noose symbolizes the Jim Crow era after American slavery ended in 1865, when thousands of former slaves and their descendants were hunted down, killed, and often hung from trees.
“This outrageous act of cowardice and hatred is designed to draw attention and divide us,” the Obama Foundation said, according to NBC News.
“Our priority is to protect the health and safety of our employees. We have notified authorities who are investigating this incident.”
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker tweeted: “Hate has no place in Illinois. The noose is more than a symbol of racism, it is a heartbreaking reminder of the violence and horror suffered by Black Americans for centuries.
“I condemn this hateful act in the strongest terms, and the State of Illinois will provide all necessary resources to help apprehend the perpetrators.”
According to the Chicago Tribune, a $100,000 reward has been offered to help catch those responsible.
Citing the architectural consortium that is building the center, the Chicago Tribune said the incident caused construction to be temporarily halted.
“The Chicago Police Department is aware of this and is investigating,” police spokesman Alex Aguas said in an email.
The Noose was reported to police by the Lakeside Alliance, the construction team of a black-owned firm that is building the Obama Presidential Center, which will become a museum and public gathering place in honor of Barack and Michelle Obama, the first African-Americans. the president and the first lady
Construction on the site will begin in 2021, and the center will open in 2025.