12/30/2011 09:52 am ET

Noose Found At One World Trade Center: Port Authority Investigating Incident As Hate Crime

A noose was found hanging from the 64th floor of 1 World Trade Center Tuesday.

A construction foreman returning from holiday break discovered the symbol of racial hatred tied to the bottom of a cable, prompting outrage from Port Authority officials, who are investigating the matter as a hate crime, The New York Daily News reports.

"The Port Authority Police Department places the highest priority on crimes motivated by hate and bias," the agency said in a statement. "We believe aggressive enforcement action sends a clear message that this behavior will not be tolerated."

It's not yet clear what caused the incident, according to DNAinfo, or if there were any disputes between workers who have access to the floor.

Officials also noted there was no noose on the floor when workers left on Friday.

The discovery calls to mind the 2007 incident when a noose was found hanging from a lamppost outside the World Trade Center Post Office.

And just last week, an African-American baby doll was found hanging with a chain noose around its neck in the garage of the New York City Parks Department's Bronx headquarters.

One World Trade Center, formerly known as the Freedom Tower, will be the United States' tallest building when completed.