UPDATE: July 7, 2020: John Hopkins University announced that a rope fashioned into a noose was found at one of its properties in Baltimore and that it is investigating the incident as a potential hate crime.
The alleged noose was discovered at the school's Whiting School of Engineering laboratory, which is under construction in the Stieff Silver building in Baltimore. The university is coordinating its investigation with general contractor Plano-Coudon LLC, and the project has been shut down until further notice. John Hopkins also notified local authorities.
- The company behind one of the largest hotel projects in the country last week confirmed that a noose was found in one of the towers of its $4.3 billion Resorts World Las Vegas construction project, KLAS 8 News Now reported.
- According to a statement from Resorts World, the noose was discovered and reported to general contractor W.A. Richardson on June 24. Richardson then alerted the authorities and informed all jobsite personnel, including subcontractors and union crews, that they are expected to cooperate with the investigation into who is responsible.
- Resorts World also said that it is committed to creating an inclusive environment on the project, which has about 2,200 workers on site each day, and will not tolerate the presence of symbols of hatred or racism. Construction on the 3,500-room casino-resort (shown above) developed by Malaysian corporation Genting Berhad has continued through the coronavirus pandemic, and is reportedly on track to be complete by next summer.
The noose, a longstanding symbol of violence against African Americans, has been in the news lately, most prominently in the world of sports after one was found hanging this month in the garage of Bubba Wallace, an African-American NASCAR driver. The noose appeared after Wallace came out in support of banning the Confederate flag from NASCAR events, but an FBI investigation found that the rope had been present in that stall since late last year and was not likely a hate crime.
In addition to Resorts World Las Vegas, nooses have been found recently on other construction sites.
One was found at the end of May on a project in downtown Portland, Oregon, according to KPTV Fox 12. The general contractor is Andersen Construction, and the project is a $104 million education and civic center for Portland State University, Portland Community College, Oregon Health and Science University, and the City of Portland.
Andersen reportedly hired a private investigator to determine who left the noose, and the incident is also being investigated by local authorities.
Turner Construction reportedly shut down a $400 million Facebook data center project in Altoona, Iowa, according to Data Center Dynamics, after someone hung a noose on a subcontractor's plan lockbox on Friday, June 19, which was also Juneteenth, a holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.
During the shutdown, all onsite staff was required to undergo sensitivity training. Turner and Facebook are conducting investigations as is the Altoona Police Department.
In addition, nooses have been found on three Toronto construction sites this month, according to CBC. Police are investigating the incidents.
Brian Turmail, vice president of public affairs and strategic initiatives at the Associated General Contractors of America, said incidents like these represent the type of mindset that the organization is seeking to curb with its new Culture of CARE program. More than 200 companies so far have joined the program designed to help contractors create more welcoming workplace environments for staff, particularly those from diverse demographic backgrounds. These companies — including Hensel Phelps, PCL and Granite Construction — have taken a pledge to ensure their workplaces are free from harassment, hazing and bullying.
In addition, the AGC is preparing stand down kits for firms to use to help foster a more inclusive and welcoming environment on all jobsites, said Turmail, who said racist actions are not indicative of construction overall.
"These kinds of acts undermine the spirit of teamwork and collaboration that are the hallmark of this industry and one of the key reasons for the success of projects," he said.