In Chicago, $100,000 reward for information on reported noose fails to turn up any suspects

Scandal erupted with alleged hanging rope found at Obama Presidential Center.

Updated: December 4, 2022 - 11:11pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Three weeks after an apparent noose was discovered at the site of former President Barack Obama's Chicago presidential center, the perpetrators of the incident have yet to be found — even after the construction company overseeing the project offered an eye-popping six-figure reward to determine who did it. 

The discovery of the rope in early November made headlines around the country. The construction site is located in Chicago's Jackson Park on the city's South Side. Construction began there in August of last year. 

At the time, Lakeside Alliance — a consortium of construction companies overseeing the presidential center construction — announced that they were "suspending all operations onsite"  in order to provide a round of "anti-bias training" for its staff.

The Lakeside Alliance also said at the time it was putting up a $100,000 reward for any information leading to the individual responsible for the noose, while the Chicago Police Department also announced it was investigating the incident.

Yet nearly a month later, the identity of the alleged perpetrator is apparently still unknown, with officials offering nothing in the way of updates regarding the case. 

Reached by phone, a staffer at Lakeside Alliance told Just the News that she had no updates to give regarding the incident. The staffer suggested emailing the alliance's media representatives for further information. 

In response to an email query to the alliance, Lara Cooper — a spokeswoman working through the Chicago communications firm C-Strategies — told Just the News, "I don't have any updates to share."

Officials with the Chicago Police Department also offered no further information on the case. "The Chicago Police Department is aware of this matter and it is still under investigation," the CPD told Just the News via email. 

Construction on the center resumed roughly a week after it was halted. 

“While Lakeside Alliance understands that no amount of training will lessen the impact of last week's heinous act," the consortium said when construction restarted, "we will continue to provide anti-bias, inclusion and belonging training on an ongoing basis to help foster an inclusive work environment."

The Obama Foundation also condemned the reported noose at the time of its discovery. "This shameless act of cowardice and hate is designed to get attention and divide us," the foundation told media at the time. 

The presidential center is expected to open in 2025. The Obama Foundation advertises that the center will incorporate "a world-class museum and public gathering space," a library, and several gardens and play areas.