ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — The U.S. Naval Academy is investigating after a noose was allegedly placed on Rickover Hall last week.

The noose was found on Aug. 28 which marked the 56th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s “I Have A Dream” speech during the March on Washington.

“We are pleased that a preliminary investigation has been open by USNA officials and that Commander  Wallace will head up the investigation,” said Carl O, Snowden, Convener of the Caucus of African-American Leaders.

The controversy came just a week before Annapolis will unveil a historic marker at the Civil Rights Foot Soldiers Memorial, which will acknowledge that white mobs lynched at least 5 black men in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.

“Nooses like swastikas conjure up images of a dark past. We appreciate the fact that the U.S. Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Admiral Sean Buck has instructed his staff to look into this matter,” Snowden said.

The USNA said its leadership was not aware of the report made by a Naval Academy employee. Once they were made aware of the situation, they immediately began an investigation.

In a statement, USNA said the alleged noose was found in a construction area that requires hoists for ductwork and piping. The area where the noose was found is off-limits to faculty and staff.

“While there is a possibility for the alleged noose to have been part of a hoisting system to complete this ductwork, the Academy takes all allegations of race hate very seriously, and is working quickly and diligently to determine the facts surrounding the reported incident, specifically why the reported incident was not brought to light sooner,” the USNA stated.

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