Amazon has shut down construction at a site in Windsor, Connecticut after several ropes tied up as nooses were found hanging from beams, according to a new report from USA Today. At least seven possible nooses have been found at the construction site since April 27.
The latest noose was found on Wednesday, according to USA Today, prompting Amazon to completely shut down the site until it can figure out what’s going on. It’s not clear how many of the ropes definitively looked like nooses but the FBI’s Civil Rights Division has been brought in to investigate.
“Some of them were just rope that was tied at the end and some were twisted in a manner to look like a noose,” Windsor Police Capt. Andrew Power told USA Today.
But at least one photo from the site, like the one below that aired on local TV station WFSB last month, shows a rope that looks pretty clearly like a hangman’s noose.
The construction site, a future Amazon warehouse, does not have security cameras and is accessible to “hundreds of employees,” according to WFSB, making it hard to narrow down possible suspects.
An iron worker at the Amazon construction site, Carlos Best, spoke to TV station WTNH on Thursday and said he’d seen a lot of racism on this particular job.
“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. This is not the only construction site that these things occur on, and it has to stop,” Best told WTNH.
Best did not elaborate on what kinds of racism he saw at the Amazon site but the NAACP expressed frustration to ABC News that it hadn’t yet been given access to the area on Thursday.
“We’ve been striving to get on the site, to talk to individuals to make sure that they were safe. And still, we have not gotten onto the site yet,” NAACP Connecticut’s Scot X Esdaile said. “It’s imperative [...] that we make sure that those individuals are safe and that they’re out of harm’s way.”
The site is expected to be shut down until at least Monday, according to WTNH, though it’s not clear what will ultimately determine whether the site is reopened and when. A reward of $100,000 is being offered by Amazon for any information leading to an arrest and anyone with insight into this particular case is asked to contact the police in Windsor, Connecticut at (860) 688-5273.
Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment overnight. Gizmodo will update this post if we hear back.
Update: Amazon sent the following statement:
We continue to be deeply disturbed by the incidents happening at the construction site in Windsor and have ordered it’s shut down 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. 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.