PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — For the second time in less than two weeks, Philadelphia Police say a noose has been found hanging outside prominent Center City landmarks.
The most recent incident happened Friday morning.
A photo from Billy Penn shows the noose on a tree near 18th and Lombard Streets. That’s near Penn Medicine Rittenhouse.
It has since been removed.
Investigators are looking into who may have placed it there and why.
“It could be someone playing a prank, but what we’re concerned about is that, obviously, anytime you see a noose or that type of artifact, it evokes images of lynchings and, so, it could be something related to hate speech, so that’s why we’re not treating it as something benign,” said Capt. Sekou Kinebrew.
This comes as another noose incident is under investigation at the U.S. Mint on Independence Mall.
In this case, a mint employee is accused of hanging the noose at the plant on the chair of an African-American colleague , which reportedly happened last week.
The unidentified employee created the noose with rope used to seal coin bags once they’re full, according to the president of the mint workers union.
Surveillance video captured the employee’s actions. Around 3 p.m. June 28, the white male coin maker walked across the factory floor with the noose in hand.
Many African-American workers called and texted the union president the next day, and the U.S. Treasury Department’s inspector general launched an internal investigation.
The Treasury Department said in a statement that Secretary Steven Mnuchin wants it handled “swiftly and seriously.”
“We have absolutely zero tolerance for the kind of misconduct reported at the Mint. Secretary Mnuchin has directed that this matter be handled swiftly and seriously. The investigation is moving ahead quickly,” the department said in a statement. “Treasury’s employees are our best asset, and we strive every day for a workplace environment that is welcoming and safe for all.”
According to Rue Landau, the executive director of Philadelphia’s Commission on Human Relations, the city has seen an increase in similar situations over the past few months.
“The city has seen an increase in similar situations over the past few months,” said Landau.
Anyone with any information is asked to call police at 215-686-TIPS.