An Amazon construction site in Connecticut has been temporarily shut down after a seventh rope that could be interpreted as a noose was found hanging over a beam, WTNH reported. Local authorities are now calling the series of events potential hate crimes.
The latest incident was said to have occurred on Wednesday, May 19, around 12:56 p.m. at the facility in Windsor, roughly 10 miles north of Hartford, Connecticut. Windsor Police Capt. Andrew Power said in a statement obtained by the outlet that the initial noose was discovered by a construction supervisor who reported seeing it hanging from a steel beam on the second floor of the building on April 27. Officials said that five more ropes that are about 15-feet long were found on several different floors since then. Power added, “Some of them were just rope that was tied at the end, and some were twisted in a manner to look like a noose.”
David Sundberg, a special agent in charge of the bureau’s New Haven field office, said the FBI would be lending its resources to Windsor police following the launch of an immediate investigation into the incident. “The implications of a hanging noose anywhere are unacceptable and will always generate the appropriate investigative response,” Sundberg added. However, with the overwhelming number of employees, between 300 and 500, having access to the site and the lack of surveillance cameras where the ropes were found, narrowing down to one or more suspects may pose a challenge to investigators.
The E-commerce giant revealed that they would be shutting down the site until Monday, May 24, stating, “We continue to be deeply disturbed by the incidents happening at the construction site in Windsor. Hate, racism, or discrimination have no place in our society and are certainly not tolerated in an Amazon workplace.”
The Greater Hartford NAACP also released a statement expressing “outrage that noose number seven was found on the Amazon worksite.” They added, “These forms of hate crimes have had a detrimental stain on the current state of America’s reality and for them to hit so close to home and with such consistency, shows a robust disrespect for the not only human decency but also for our ancestors who lost their lives due to the hate represented within the knots in those ropes.”
They also noted that many of the contractors, including the company in charge of hanging the steel, were brought in from the South. Connecticut NAACP President Scot X Esdaile noted, “It’s kind of ironic that they are from Lynchburg, Virginia, and they were brought on the site, and a lot of individuals from Florida and Texas and Georgia from the South have come up here to work on this particular site.”
Esdaile said the organization is familiar the symbolism behind a noose, adding, “The NAACP understands, and we’ve been in situations where our churches were bombed, children were killed, families were destroyed. We’re not tolerating this nonsense.”
Carlos Best, an ironworker and foreman at the site, told ABC that he’s heard racist remarks from workers in the past and even had to terminate an employee for racist behavior. “We hear a lot of stuff on the job site, but it is kept quiet, some guys just want to get a paycheck and go home, but personally, on this job here, I have seen a lot of racism.” He added, “This is not the only construction site that these things occur on, and it has to stop.”
During a news conference, Brian Griggs, a spokesperson for Amazon, said the company is now offering a $100,000 reward to anyone with information that would lead to those responsible for the nooses.