The FBI has concluded that a noose at the centre of a racism controversy involving NASCAR's only black driver is not considered a federal crime.
Bubba Wallace, the only black driver in NASCAR's most elite circuit, had been aided by NASCAR, the FBI, and the Justice Department in investigating reports that there was allegedly a noose discovered in his team's garage following Wallace's statements about having the confederate flag banned from NASCAR events, but the Department of Justice confirmed Tuesday afternoon that there was no federal crime committed.
According to the Department of Justice:
"On Monday, fifteen FBI special agents conducted numerous interviews regarding the situation at Talladega Superspeedway. After a thorough review of the facts and evidence surrounding this event, we have concluded that no federal crime was committed.
"The FBI learned that garage number 4, where the noose was found, was assigned to Bubba Wallace last week. The investigation also revealed evidence, including authentic video confirmed by NASCAR, that the noose found in garage number 4 was in that garage as early as October 2019. Although the noose is now known to have been in garage number 4 in 2019, nobody could have known Mr. Wallace would be assigned to garage number 4 last week.
"The decision not to pursue federal charges is proper after reviewing all available facts and all applicable federal laws. We offer our thanks to NASCAR, Mr. Wallace, and everyone who cooperated with this investigation.”
Wallace spoke out on June 9 about NASCAR's approval of confederate flags at tracks. NASCAR followed through on Wallace's request to ban the confederate flag from its events.
It was not until after finishing 14th at the GEICO 500 race in Talladega this past weekend that a noose was allegedly discovered in Wallace's locker, which he said would not "take my smile away."
NASCAR ensured at the time that whoever may be behind the event would immediately be banned from the sport. Now it turns out it was a tie handle from a pull-down garage door.
Wallace had previously said that people who suggested the incident was a hoax were "simple minded people ... afraid of change."