By Kyeland Jackson —
U of L employees found an effigy dressed in all black fastened to a tree branch in Stansbury Park, across the street from the Kent School of Social Work, Thursday.
University spokesperson John Karman said the effigy was not hung from a the tree by a noose, but said it was “fastened to a branch in some way.” Karman said university police are investigating.
“It’s not considered a hate crime because no crime was committed,” Karman said when asked if a criminal investigation was underway. “Police removed the effigy. They’re trying to find out more about it.”
In a blasted email, Interim President Greg Postel said the effigy was a headless Halloween decoration which some interpreted as a racist message. Others, he said, thought it was a prank. Citing initiatives like the LGBTQ center and cultural center, Postel said the incident is a chance to reflect on U of L’s values.
“We support these initiatives because it’s the right thing to do. And we do it because this is what we want to be: a compassionate, supportive, welcoming community in which we appreciate what makes us individually unique and learn from each other,” Postel said in the email. “Regardless of its intent, this week’s incident reminds us that we, as a campus, must remain vigilant in building that community.”
Earlier this year, the Kent school’s “Black Lives Matter” banner was reportedly stolen from the building’s front. The banner was found across the street the next morning with its ties, which were fastened to the second-floor balcony, cut.
This story will be updated.
Effigy Photo Courtesy / The Univeristy of Louisville
File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal