WASHINGTON — Metropolitan Police are investigating a possible hate crime at a Capitol Hill religious landmark, after members of St. Mark's Episcopal Church found a noose tied to a parish tree Friday morning.
The church sits only blocks away from the U.S. Capitol, at 301 A Street, S.E. According to D.C. police, a member of the parish found the noose within the church courtyard around 11 a.m.
"When I got here and saw that they had taken the care to do two, three, four coils, and really make it not look like a slipknot, but a noose, that was horrifying to me," said the Rev. Michele Morgan in an interview.
"I preach love, and light, and God, every single day. And that noose is a symbol of hate. That is a symbol of radicalized terror. And it has no business, anywhere. It certainly has no business in my church courtyard."
D.C. Councilmember Charles Allen tweeted a photo outside the church Friday afternoon.
"A despicable symbol and act of hate. MPD has been on [the] scene and is working with church leadership," Allen wrote. "Denounce it loud and clear – hate has no home here."
Police have not yet indicated whether detectives have narrowed down any suspect information concerning the incident.
"These types of offenses are taken seriously and are entirely unacceptable," said MPD spokesperson Hugh Carew. "Anyone with information is asked to call (202) 727-9099 or text your information anonymously to 50411."
As a suspect remains at large, Morgan evoked a higher authority, issuing a message for whoever is responsible.
"God can transform everything, and God can redeem everything, including hatred," Morgan said. "To display that level of hate, and to try and create fear in the world, is moving away from God every single day. And we can do better than that."