Amazon on Wednesday again shut down a warehouse construction site after the discovery of an eighth noose at the location. The site was closed due to safety concerns, Scot X. Esdaile, president of the Connecticut NAACP, told a local newspaper.
"It's a direct threat on your life," he told the Hartford Courant. "This is a serious, white supremacist message being sent to our entire community. It's sick. It's unacceptable. We demand better."
The noose was found on the same day the NAACP has planned a meeting with workers to talk about their safety after the recent incidents, according to the paper.
Amazon confirmed that another noose had been found under some electrical materials.
"Hate, racism or discrimination have no place in our society and are certainly not tolerated in any Amazon workplace — whether it be under construction like this one, or fully operational. Today, the site was shut down to allow the FBI to continue their investigation following the discovery of a noose found under electrical materials. We will continue to work with all levels of law enforcement as well as our development partners, to hold the perpetrators accountable and ensure that all members of our community feel valued, respected and safe," said a spokesperson for the ecommerce company in an email to CBS MoneyWatch.
Work at the site was briefly stopped last week after a piece of rope with a loop at the end was discovered hanging over a beam. It was the seventh found at the 3.6 million-square-foot building since late April. All were discovered in an area with surveillance cameras at a construction site that hosts hundreds of workers from multiple companies. Police said they have limited information or leads.
The state's NAACP chapter has demanded that law enforcement step up efforts to find those behind the incidents.
"The presence of these nooses and ropes is a clear and present danger to African Americans and persons of color, not only at this Amazon facility but the community at large," Maxien Robinson-Lewin, president of the Greater Hartford Branch of the NAACP, told a televised news conference.
"The New Haven Division of the FBI is lending Its resources and support to the Windsor PD for this ongoing investigation," New Haven field division FBI Special Agent In Charge David Sundberg said in an email to CBS MoneyWatch. "The implications of a hanging noose anywhere are unacceptable and will always generate the appropriate investigative response. We stand united with all of our law enforcement partners across the state in rooting out and applying the rule of law to any individual or group perpetuating hateful ideology and intimidation in our communities."
Amazon said it had doubled to $100,000 its reward for information leading to those responsible.
"We continue to be deeply disturbed by the incidents happening at the construction site in Windsor and have ordered its shutdown until necessary security measures can be put in place. Hate, racism or discrimination have no place in our society and are certainly not tolerated by Amazon — whether at a site under construction like this one, or at one that we operate," an Amazon spokesperson said in an email to CBS MoneyWatch.
"We are committed to working with the Town and Windsor Police Department, as well as our development partners, to hold the perpetrators accountable and ensure that all members of our community feel valued, respected and safe," the spokesperson said.
Five uniformed Windsor police officers have been walking through the site every day, talking to workers and and keeping an eye out, according to Windsor Police Chief Donald Melanson.
But one iron worker who works at the site, Carlos Best, said he has heard racist remarks from other workers and even had to fire one employee on his crew for racist comments. "I've seen a lot of racism on this job site," he told a news conference.
"This is a racist act. It is an act of intimidation, it is an act of hate and it is a crime. We are committed to making sure the perpetuators of this heinous act are found and prosecuted," Susan Bysiewicz, Connecticut's lieutenant governor, told the news conference.
"Sadly, this is not an isolated act in our state," the lieutenant governor said, referencing a student's arrest in the spray-painting of a swastika on a University of Connecticut building on March 27, the first day of Passover, a major Jewish holiday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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