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Noose Found Hanging Across From NYC Elementary School

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A possible symbol of hate was found near a school in Queens on Thursday, sparking concern among neighbors.

A noose was seen hanging from a tree and there is no word yet on who may have put it there.

As CBS 2's Demetra Ganias reports, the community is trying not to overreact.

Just across the street from the Walter Ward School in Queens is the tree that sparked controversy. A hangman's noose was found on its limb. Neighbors are disgusted.

"It's just wrong completely," one resident said.

"I think that's terrible. We all have to learn to live together," another added.

Donna Walker said she has a young daughter and shutters at the idea of her seeing a noose.

"I would feel sad," the Ozone Park resident said. "I would have to explain to her what that is and where that came from and it's not good."

Witnesses pointed out to Ganias the branch where the noose hung. Police quickly took it down Wednesday morning after surrounding the tree. There are surveillance cameras on a nearby apartment building, but the problem is, Ganias learned, they weren't working over the last few days so they are no help for police in their investigation.

The incident is familiar to our area, following a case of controversial anti-abortion fliers sparking campus outrage at Princeton Theological Seminary on Monday and an FDNY electrician saying he found a noose in his locker back in early February.

The Lindenwood neighborhood borders Howard Beach. Residents told Ganias they're working past the racial animosity that boiled over in the 1980s.

"It's much different than back then, yes," resident Donna Walker said.

"This is a new age, a new generation. We should be moving forward and looking forward, not backward," added Howard Beach resident Norman Allen.

"Everyone gets along. I have great friends, great neighbors. I'm shocked," said resident Jose Amil.

Few actually saw the noose. Some neighbors don't want the ignorance of one to spark fear, in an otherwise safe place to live.

"In spite of what everyone thinks about Howard Beach, it's not so. We get along with everybody over here," Joe Luciano said.

Residents said they are hopeful the person responsible for the noose is caught soon.

Police are still investigating, and no arrests have been made so far.

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