Employee: Nooses repeatedly found hanging in Opelika business

acarlson@ledger-enquirer.comJune 13, 2014 

A reported hate crime at a manufacturer in Opelika, Ala., reportedly involves nooses repeatedly being hung within the business in view of employees.

Opelika police responded to a call at about 11 a.m. at Semyoungjin Hitech, LLC. On Thursday, the incident was turned over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Police said state and national NAACP were involved in the reporting of the incident.

Employee Vinyatta Davidson told the Opelika-Auburn News that he has noticed "three ropes hung in the warehouse that resembled nooses."

“Management knew they were there because they walked past them every day, all day. We took them down in front of them, and they didn’t say anything then,” Davidson told the paper.

Davidson is black. He said there was a language barrier with his Asian managers.

Davidson said he and another employee have untied the nooses several times over several months, but that they reappear.

“We don’t know who’s doing it, who done it,” he said. “We all tried to watch and see who was doing it, but we really couldn’t pinpoint who was doing it.”

In a statement, the company's counsel said that the FBI had found one rope shaped like a noose.

“No one at the company remembered installing the rope there, and upon further inquiry, the FBI confirmed that the landlord placed the rope there to connect to a hook on the door in order to hold the door open,” attorney June Towery said in a statement. “In other words, the rope was there even before Semyoungjin began its operations in the building.”

The statement made no reference to other nooses allegedly found by employees. According to Towery, the FBI's investigation has discovered no malicious intent.

The FBI could not be reached for comment. The case remains under investigation.

Ben Wright contributed to this report

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