Cheron Perkins could hardly believe her eyes when she spotted a noose hanging from a tree Friday night walking back to her Stanford University dorm, she wrote on Twitter.
“My immediate thought was nothing but fear because I’d never seen a noose,” said Perkins, a New Orleans medical student serving as a counselor for a summer program at the campus in Palo Alto, California, KNTV reported.
“I was just distraught,” Perkins said, according to the station. “I got on Southwest and started looking for a plane ticket.”
The university has opened an investigation into the noose, KRON reported. It has been named a “suspicious circumstance” but may be reclassified as a hate crime, according to the TV station.
Perkins wrote on Twitter that the response by university police disturbed her, saying officers took more than an hour to respond and told her it “wasn’t an emergency.”
She wrote on Twitter that she’s “definitely concerned and want justice.”
“It just didn’t sit well with me,” Perkins said, KGO reported. “I felt very uncomfortable about the whole situation. And then once we talked to the police, and they just said, ‘oh well we took it down.’ No, there needs to be more done than just taking it down.”
The noose was found near dorms now being used by counselors and high school students, some of whom are black, taking part in a summer program, The Mercury News reported.
“While we await further conclusions from the investigation, we feel it is important to state that a noose is recognized as a symbol of violence and racism directed against African American peoples,” the university said in a statement Tuesday, according to the publication. “Such a symbol has no place on our campus.”
The Stanford University Department of Public Safety asked that anyone with information on the noose call investigators at 650-329-2413.