A hate crime investigation in Oakland, California is underway after reports were made of nooses hanging in a city park. It was found that the "nooses" were actually just pieces of exercise equipment.
The equipment has since been removed by police officials.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said the matter would be investigated further.
"These have no place in our city at any time but especially in this time," she said at a Wednesday press conference.
"These incidents will be investigated as a hate crime."
According to the Washington Examiner, the ropes were then handed over to the FBI. Local resident Victor Sengbe, a black man, said he put up the ropes for an exercise routine that involved a swing system.
“Out of the dozen and hundreds and thousands of people that walked by, no one has thought that it looked anywhere close to a noose," Sengbe said. "Folks have used it for exercise. It was really a fun addition to the park that we tried to create."
In a statement posted to Twitter, Mayor Schaaf called the exercise equipment "symbols of racial violence," saying that the equipment "will not be tolerated."
"Several nooses found on trees around Lake Merritt were removed and will be investigated as hate crimes. Reports that these were part of exercise equipment do not remove nor excuse their torturous and terrorizing effects," the statement reads.
It continues: "We are all responsible for knowing the history and present day reality of lynchings, hate crimes, and racial violence. Objects that invoke such terror will not be tolerated in Oakland's public space."
It is not known whether Sengbe will have his equipment returned to him by the city.