White US Mint Employee Plants Noose on Black Colleague’s Chair, Is Given Leave

Ben Reed, right, and Keith Christian, left, portraying Klansmen, run through a reenactment of the 1946 lynching at the Moore's Ford Bridge, to raise awareness for the unsolved murders.

White US Mint Employee Plants Noose on Black Colleague’s Chair, Is Given Leave

© AP Photo/ RIC FELD

A white US Mint employee has been placed on leave after being caught on surveillance footage placing a noose on the chair of an African-American co-worker. Several other black employees complained to a union representative a day after the incident was reported.

The unidentified male employee operates coin-making machinery and reportedly fashioned the noose out of coin bags. Mint workers’ union president Rhonda Sapp was flooded with messages and calls when word of the incident got out, according to CBS News.

Officials at the Mint, located in Philadelphia, said in an email statement, We have absolutely zero tolerance for the kind of misconduct reported at the Mint,” adding, “Secretary [Steve] Mnuchin has directed that this matter be handled swiftly and seriously. The investigation is moving ahead quickly. We strive every day for a workplace environment that is welcoming and safe for all.”

The noose has come to represent racist terror in the US, as thousands of African-Americans have been lynched the country’s history. There have been several similar incident throughout the last six months, such as last week when a black deliveryman in New York was handed a noose at Ottomanelli & Sons Meat Market and told “Here is your gift. You can put it around your neck and pull if you want to end it all.”

The Root reported in June that three nooses were found at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, DC, in the span of just one week.

Nooses have also been found at two separate North Carolina high schools, a Florida middle school and at a University of Maryland frat house.

After American University in Washington, DC, elected its first African-American woman as student government president, bananas were found hanging from nooses on campus targeting her and Alpha Kappa Alpha, a sorority founded by African-American women in 1908.

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