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Amazon halts construction twice as nooses found across building site

Amazon says it's reevaluating its partnerships with contractors at the Connecticut construction project after an eighth noose was found Wednesday.

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A phone with the Amazon log sits among Amazon boxes

Amazon has installed cameras, and multiple law enforcement agencies are investigating.

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Nooses left in several locations at an Amazon facility under construction in Connecticut have now brought the project to a standstill for a second time. After closing the facility last week to let law enforcement investigate the discovery of seven nooses, Amazon reopened it Wednesday, only to find an eighth noose, according to multiple reports. The company closed the site again Wednesday evening as the investigation continued.

Amazon has security cameras around entrances and different floors of the partially constructed facility. The company reportedly contributed to a $100,000 reward for information about the incidents. The FBI is joining state and local police in investigating the matter, and the NAACP is also in contact with Amazon and law enforcement, according to the Hartford Courant.

In a statement, Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel said Amazon doesn't tolerate racism, hate or discrimination. "We are assessing the performance and management of our developer and general contractor to ensure they are maintaining the standards expected of an Amazon project," Nantel said. "We will make any appropriate changes to this project, including reevaluating our partnerships, to ensure these high standards."

Amazon is currently facing at least six lawsuits from women alleging race and gender-based harassment and discrimination across a range of the company's businesses, including corporate employees, HR workers and women working in delivery operations. According to The Washington Post, the construction industry disproportionately employs white men across the US for jobs that include laborers, carpenters and electricians, and just 7% of the workers are Black. (Nearly 14% of the US population is Black, and 12% of the Connecticut population is Black, according to the US Census.)

The eighth noose was found amid a bundle of electrical cables and was reportedly described by the Windsor Police Department as a short red rope with a noose tied on one end. The nooses represent a hate crime because of their association with thousands of extrajudicial killings targeting mostly Black people in the 19th and 20th centuries, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. 

"Nooses evoke feelings of subjugation, discrimination and fear targeting mainly Black members of society," the organization wrote in 2017. "The history and imagery are too intimately bound to consider these actions a simple expression of one's viewpoint."