Elmhurst police were investigating Monday after two nooses were found hanging near the football field outside York Community High School, authorities said.
Between noon and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, a group of adults gathered to play an informal soccer game at the field and subsequently discovered two rope nooses hanging from the top of the metal bleachers.
The adults removed the ropes themselves and took them with the intent to later give them to school administrators, according to a news release from the Elmhurst Police Department.
School administrators were contacted Monday and informed police.
"Examination revealed both ropes had tape affixed to them with two messages," police said in the news release. 'One rope’s message read 'Let them play!' and the other rope’s message read 'Hear us now! Please!'"
Elmhurst police plan to increase their presence on the York High School campus and surrounding neighborhoods in the following days. As a further precaution, security cameras will be installed at the high school including at the football field.
The incident remains under investigation as a possible hate crime, Elmhurst police said Monday.
"The City of Elmhurst has no tolerance for symbols of hatred, oppression and violence. One of our City’s core services is to provide safety for the Elmhurst residents and the community," the statement added.
Anyone with information is asked to call police at 630-530-3050.