Stanford University investigating noose in bush

Stanford University is looking into reports of a noose found hanging near a campus residence — which could become a hate crime investigation.

Over the weekend, Stanford Department of Public Safety deputies found a white rope, about three feet long, suspended from a tall bush, according to a statement released by the California university Tuesday.

The noose was found near a residence for summer students.

The incident is currently being investigated as a “suspicious circumstance,” according to the statement, but if more evidence is found, it may be re-classified as a hate crime.

“We feel it is important to state that a noose is recognized as a symbol of violence and racism directed against African American peoples. Such a symbol has no place on our campus,” the university said.

A student visiting the campus took pictures and video of the rope.

The university’s Department of Public Safety says that the incident is still under investigation.

CNN’s Sarah Moon contributed to this report.