St. Mark's Episcopal Church

Noose Found in Tree at Church on Capitol Hill

NBC Universal, Inc.

A noose was found hanging from a tree outside of St. Mark's Episcopal Church a block from the U.S. Capitol Friday morning.

D.C. police are investigating it as a possible hate crime

“Upon seeing it, I was actually really angry,” said the Rev. Michele Morgan, the rector at St. Mark’s. “I think that symbols of racialized hatred are used exactly to scare a lot of people.”

“I think that it was targeted at folks who are doing work in this neighborhood and people of color, and it made me mad and then it made me incredibly sad,” Morgan said.

The church has a Black Lives Matter banner on the front of the building that appears to have been left untouched.

“It’s hard to put it into words: anger, shock, disgust,” said Matthew Robertson, artistic director of The Thirteen, a professional vocal ensemble that will livestream a performance from the church Saturday night.

The production tackles systemic racism, and the man who plays the role of Jesus is Black. The group doesn’t know if they were being targeted, but now that it’s happened, it’s adding new meaning to their performance

“In talking with the musicians today, we all decided that it made the work that we’re doing even more important,” Robertson said.

D.C. Councilman Charles Allen described it as a despicable symbol and act of hate. 

“That symbol has no business being in our country, in our city and certainly not in a church courtyard,” Morgan said.

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