Madison Police have confirmed that a piece of rope fashioned into a noose and left tied to a fence at Gaines Park was from a recent tree removal project and not left as a hate crime at the site of the city’s former black school building on Broadway Street.

Madison Police Chief John Wallace, who along with his department investigated the incident, received new information on the rope Thursday after a news story about the incident ran in The Madison Courier’s Thursday edition.

“A resident in the area reported that a portion of a tree fell into the roadway approximately a week ago. The rope was likely used to remove the tree, and inadvertently left at the scene. The homeowner in the area tied it to the fence, just in case the tree removal company came back to retrieve it,” Wallace said in his follow up to the case. “A representative of the tree removal company was shown a picture of the rope and confirmed it would be something they would use during a tree removal. The removal company stated the rope, referred to as a bull rope, is commonly used to remove trees or secure equipment.”

Suspicious that the rope might have been left as gesture of hate in the wake of recent Black Lives Matter protests — both locally and nationally — several local residents posted on social media asking the city to investigate. Both Wallace and Mayor Bob Courtney said if the rope was indeed a statement of hate that they condemned the act and would pursue whomever was responsible.