State investigating noose found in Worcester post office - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

State investigating noose found in Worcester post office

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WORCESTER, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com) -- Lamar Watkins felt shocked when he went into the post office and allegedly saw a hangman's noose hanging from the middle of a post office room.

According to the NAACP, Watkins went into the post office on June 12 and spotted the noose in the employee area.

He told the organization it was clearly visible to customers from the service counter and he took photos of it.

Watkins says he asked why the noose was there and he says he was ignored.

He then contacted the Worcester NAACP, and it wasn't until Political Action Co-Chair Chuck Jackson went in to the post office two weeks later, and saw the noose, still hanging. Only when he demanded it be taken down was it removed.

When asked why the noose was up there Jackson said an employee told him the noose was put up as decoration by another employee 20 years ago.

He tells FOX 25's Crystal Haynes that he's not buying that story, and a complaint has since been filed with the state Attorney general's office and the NAACP says the US Attorney General is also investigating.

"First reaction was shock and disbelief. And in the shock an disbelief then came to anger, Jackson said. "I'm from the south. I was born and raised in North Carolina, and to see stuff like this, I'm almost 53 years old, I remember seeing Ku Klux Klan members walking down the street in offensive gear, walking with hangman nooses in their hands."

"I was shocked, and kind frightened that this type of symbol of hate an violence could up up for so long in a post office, and that people feel it's alright for it to be there," said Patricia Yancey, the Worcester NAACP's president.

In a statement to FOX25, the US Postal Service said:

"The Postal Service does not tolerate discrimination of any kind, real or perceived. In this matter, the USPS-Office of Inspector General was asked to conduct an independent investigation and upon completion will provide their investigative findings to the Postal Service and the United States Attorney’s Office for any action deemed appropriate."

The NAACP says Worcester city officials are also speaking out against the incident and a civil rights and solidarity event is in the works for sometime in July.
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