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US Federal Probe Finds No Crime Committed in NASCAR Noose Case

"After a thorough review of the facts and evidence surrounding this event, we have concluded that no federal crime was committed," reads a Tuesday joint statement by US Attorney Jay E. Town and FBI Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp, Jr.

"The FBI learned that garage number 4, where the noose was found, was assigned to Bubba Wallace last week," the statement continues. "The investigation also 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. Although the noose is now known to have been in garage number 4 in 2019, nobody could have known Mr. Wallace would be assigned to garage number 4 last week."

The loop of rope, commonly associated with extralegal lynchings, particularly of Black persons, was found in the garage used by Wallace at Alabama's Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday, just before the NASCAR Cup Series Geico 500 race began. As news spread, other racers came out in support of Wallace, condemning whoever placed the noose there.

The incident came after Wallace, the racing league's only Black driver, repainted his Number 43 car black and emblazoned it with decals promoting racial equality, including the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter over the rear wheel wells.

​In its own statement released after the FBI's on Tuesday, NASCAR gave some further details about the bureau's findings.

"The FBI report concludes, and photographic evidence confirms, that the garage door pull rope fashioned like a noose had been positioned there since as early as last fall," NASCAR said. "This was obviously well before the 43 team's arrival and garage assignment. We appreciate the FBI's quick and thorough investigation and are thankful to learn that this was not an intentional, racist act against Bubba."

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