A Black firefighter in the Minneapolis suburb of Bloomington found a piece of rope tied into what appeared to be a “crude noose” in his locker earlier this month and city officials have asked the FBI to investigate the incident, CBS Minnesota reports.
According to the city’s news release, the apparent noose was discovered on June 15 and was reported to Fire department leaders on Tuesday (June 23).
Similarly, NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace, the only Black driver in the organization’s top circuit, found a pull-down rope tied into a noose in his garage stall on June 21. The FBI was called on to investigate but ultimately concluded that no federal crime was committed against Wallace two days later.
“Acts like this that embody hate, intimidation, and aggression will not be tolerated,” Bloomington Fire Chief Ulie Seal said in the release. “The firefighter who brought this to our attention has demonstrated extreme strength and bravery and has done the right thing.”
Bloomington Mayor Tim Busse added that he is “disgusted, angry, and embarrassed by this cowardly act. To be clear, this incident is very serious and is being dealt with aggressively.”
Busse announced that during Bloomington’s City Council meeting on July 13 that racial equity will be the focus. He also plans to bring in a mental health consultant “to address the emotional, social, and psychological trauma that results from racial traumatic events.”
The city is expected to provide the city with an update on June 29. People with tips or other knowledge about the incident are encouraged to contact the FBI’s Minneapolis Field Office by calling 763-569-8000.
The incident follows the police killing of 46-year-old George Floyd, who tragically passed away after a Minneapolis police offer pressed his knee into his neck for over eight minutes. His death has sparked protests across the globe against police brutality and has pushed conversations about racial injustice to the forefront, making the topic of race a sensitive and hot-button issue in America as statues and flags symbolizing the country’s Trans-Atlantic slave past gets denounced.