FBI Rules Noose In Bubba Wallace’s Garage Wasn’t A Hate Crime
An FBI investigation concluded the noose found in Bubba Wallace’s garage stall had been there since 2019 and therefore was not intended to be a hate crime towards him.
An investigation was launched after the disturbing discovery was made by a member of Wallace’s NASCAR team on Sunday, June 21.
Wallace has been vocal about his support of the Black Lives Matter movement in recent weeks, and was successful in calling for Confederate flags to be banned at NASCAR races. When the noose was discovered in his garage, it was therefore assumed to have been planted with him in mind.
However, yesterday, June 23, the FBI confirmed the noose had been in the garage long before the stall was assigned to Wallace last week, CNN reports.
In a statement, the agency explained its investigation ‘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.’
The FBI stressed that although the noose is known to have been there for a number of months, ‘nobody could have known Mr. Wallace would be assigned to garage number 4 last week.’ It added: ‘No federal crime was committed’.
NASCAR said the noose actually appears to have been used as a door handle, describing it as ‘garage door pull rope fashioned like a noose.’
On Tuesday, the Wood Brothers Racing team said on Twitter that a member of its team recalled seeing a noose-like rope hanging in the garage stall in Autumn 2019. That information was relayed to the relevant authorities as part of NASCAR’s investigation.
NASCAR responded to the FBI’s news to say it was grateful for a ‘quick and thorough investigation’ and was ‘thankful to learn that this was not an intentional, racist act against Bubba.’
Its statement continued:
We remain steadfast in our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all who love racing.
NASCAR president Steve Phelps said the FBI’s finding is the ‘best result’ the organisation could have hoped for, adding:
The evidence is very clear that the noose that was in that garage had been in the garage previously.
The last race we had had there in October, that noose was present, and it was — the fact that it was not found until a member of the 43 team came there is something that is a fact. We had not been back to the garage. It was a quick one-day show.
The crew member went back in there. He looked and saw the noose, brought it to the attention of his crew chief, who then went to the NASCAR series director Jay Fabian, and we launched this investigation.
To be clear, we would do this again. Of the evidence that we had, it was clear that we needed to look into this.
Wallace has since responded to the FBI’s conclusion, saying he was ‘pissed’ members of the public had now started to question his integrity.
Speaking to CNN, he said:
What was hanging in my garage is not a garage pull. It was a noose. Whether tied in 2019 or whatever, it was a noose. So, it wasn’t directed at me but somebody tied a noose. That’s what I’m saying.
He added that allegations of the discovery being a ‘hoax’ would not ‘break’ him or ‘tear [him] down’, saying they would only fuel the ‘competitive drive’ in him.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk