The noose, hanging above the chair …
From the NAACP, Worcester branch. – R. Tirella
On June 25, 2014, Mr. Watkins, a customer of the U.S. Post Office in the Denholm Building downtown Worcester emailed an image of a hangman’s noose suspended from patriotic ceiling decorations to the Worcester NAACP.
The hangman’s noose was on display in the employee area, but clearly visible from the customer service counter.
Mr. Watkins first noticed the hangman’s noose June 12 and asked the postal worker if he knew what a hangman’s noose represented. The postal worker did not respond and watched as Mr. Watkins took a picture of the hangman’s noose with his cell phone.
The day after the Worcester, NAACP, received this image (June 26), Chuck Jackson our Political Action Co-Chair visited the Post Office to investigate. He was told by one of the two postal workers that a young lady that used to work in that office decorated the office and the rope had been hanging for about twenty years.
Mr. Jackson asked that the hangman’s noose be removed, when no one moved to remove the noose, Mr. Jackson insisted that the hangman’s noose be taken down before he left. These are the facts as they were reported to the Worcester NAACP and as witnessed by our Political Action Co-Chair.
The Worcester NAACP immediately contacted the Cvil Rights Division of the Massachusetts Attorney General Office on June 25th.
They determined that since this incident happened within a federal agency, the United States Attorney General Office had jurisdiction over this matter. An attorney from the US Attorney General Office responded within 24 hours and dispatched an investigator from the Inspector General Office. The investigation began immediately after the holiday weekend, July 1st.
Here is the image of the hangman’s noose that was emailed to the Worcester NAACP so it will be very clear, that this is not just a rope.
What was suspended from the ceiling decorations in the Post Office was a purposefully crafted hangman’s noose which was not hidden from the public’s view.
There is no reason for any symbol of hate, intimidation and violence to be displayed within a United States government agency.
The Worcester NAACP is requesting that the US Attorney General Office prosecute this matter to the fullest extent of the law and to hold all those responsible fully accountable. The US AGO has responded quickly and has assured the Worcester NAACP that they are taking this matter very seriously. I am anticipating that we will find out the results of their investigation soon.