The construction of the Obama Presidential Center has been halted after the discovery of a noose on the work site, Fox News reports.
Lakeside Alliance, the group that is carrying out the construction, made the announcement on Thursday, saying, "this morning we were informed that an act of hate was discovered at the project site."
The group continued:
We have zero tolerance for any form of bias or hate on our worksite. Anti-bias training is included in our onboarding process and reiterated during site-wide meetings. We are suspending all operations onsite in order to provide another series of these trainings and conversations for all staff and workers.
In addition to this, Lakeside announced that it is offering $100,000 in exchange for information about the incident, which the Obama Foundation has called a "shameless act of cowardice and hate [that] is designed to get attention and divide us."
It appears that an investigation into the matter is being led by the Chicago Police Department, which has put out a statement, saying, "we are aware of this matter, and it is under investigation."
Fox highlights a couple of details, though, that could be important. One is that "the Chicago Police Department has not referred to the rope as a noose and is not requiring Lakeside Alliance to halt construction."
Then, Fox also reports that when it asked the Chicago Police Department for an image of the noose, a spokesperson told the outlet that the Chicago police has "nothing to provide at this point."
A number of right-leaning political commentators have expressed skepticism about this whole situation, suggesting that it might be another hoax. Conservative commentator Matt Walsh, for example, sarcastically tweeted, "definitely a hate crime."
"I can't imagine any other reason why a rope would be on a construction site," Walsh continued. "Also, this is Chicago. It's not a place known for hate crime hoaxes."
Walsh, here, is alluding to the hate crime hoax that actor Jussie Smollett organized, which also took place in Chicago.
Several others posted similar messages on Twitter expressing skepticism about the situation at the Obama Presidential Center.
Right now, all we can do is wait and see what evidence emerges, if any exists.