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Someone Left a Noose at DC's African American History Museum

It was the second one found at a Smithsonian museum in the past week.

River Donaghey

River Donaghey

Photo via Flickr user Rex Hammock

On Wednesday, Park Police closed a portion of DC's new National Museum of African American History and Culture in the National Mall after visitors spotted a noose on the floor of an exhibit.

Smithsonian reports that the noose was left at an exhibition about segregation and is the second noose found at a Smithsonian museum in DC during the past week. Last Friday, a similar noose was discovered hanging from a tree at the the Hirshhorn Museum, a contemporary art museum on the other side of the Mall.

"The noose has long represented a deplorable act of cowardice and depravity—a symbol of extreme violence for African Americans," National Museum of African American History director Lonnie Bunch wrote in a statement to her staff. The "incident is a painful reminder of the challenges that African Americans continue to face," she continued.

Police reopened the National Museum of African American History three hours after the noose was spotted and are currently investigating both incidents, BuzzFeed News reports. It's still unclear if both nooses were left by the same people or are connected in any way.

This is just another in an ever-growing list of hate crimes across the country that have flared up following Trump's election and have continued during his presidency.

"We haven't seen such mainstream support for hate in decades, not since the Civil Rights era 50 years ago," Southern Poverty Law Center spokesperson Ryan Lenz told Smithsonian. "The civil rights accorded every American are firmly under threat."