Noose found on state employee's desk - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Noose found on state employee's desk

By Jim Shannon - bio | email

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Governor's Office of Homeland Security is investigating what it calls a felony crime.

A noose was found on the desk of an African American supervisor Wednesday morning.

GOHSEP director Mark Cooper called a late afternoon news conference to express his disgust with the incident. GOHSEP wants to make it perfectly clear that it will not tolerate this type of activity.

Mark Cooper says GOHSEP will fully attempt to find whoever is responsible for putting the eight-inch noose on the supervisor's desk. Louisiana passed a law last session outlawing nooses. Cooper referred to the incident as a hate crime that will not be tolerated. He says he is mainly concerned about the employees who were the target of the crime.

"My number one priority right now is the well-being of those two employees who were subjected to and victimized by this hideous crime," said Cooper. "I spoke with both employees and expressed my concern for them and told them whatever it takes to support them and their families to deal with this gross violation of an individual's right to work in a safe positive work environment."

State Police Colonel Mike Edmonson was notified of the incident. He was concerned about jurisdiction and consulted U.S. Attorney David Dugas to determine whose investigation it would be. "But I wanted to check with the U.S. attorney, what type of jurisdiction of the state police have in this," Edmonson explains. "At minimum, I have concurrent jurisdiction with the FBI. It looks like I have full jurisdiction because we're dealing with state employees."

The crime carries up to a year in prison if the person or persons are caught.

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