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Thu, 18 Oct 2007

Third noose found in Nassau public works garage - Newsday

Third noose found in Nassau public works garage
BY KEITH HERBERT at NEWSDAY
October 18, 2007

A Nassau County employee found an 18-inch noose at a public works garage in South Hempstead Thursday, the third reported in two days on municipal property, police said.
The 6:45 a.m. discovery came on the same day Town of Hempstead officials held a news conference outside Town Hall after two nooses were reported Wednesday in a Hempstead town-owned garage in Roosevelt.
Hours after the most recent noose was found hanging on a chain-link fence, Hempstead officials and black clergy members sang "We Shall Overcome" at the news conference attended by about 150 people.
In the wake of the nooses discovered in Roosevelt, one of which included a stuffed animal with its fur blackened, Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray announced that each of the town’s 2,000 employees will undergo diversity training.
"When you have an incident like this, it shocks everybody of good intention and good will," said Murray. "We will begin the training immediately."
Nassau Commissioner of Public Works Ray Ribeiro said between 50 and 60 workers are employed at the South Hempstead garage, including blacks and Latinos.
A police spokesman said Thursday that the two other nooses in Roosevelt -- both found on a town forklift -- had been left in place at least two weeks before being reported. They were reported only after publicity about the noose found Sept. 28 in the Hempstead police station.
"Employees have brought the nooses to the attention of their supervisors after all the attention in the media about nooses," Nassau Police Lt. Kevin Smith said.
Also Thursday, County Executive Thomas Suozzi announced the creation of a task force on bias crimes. It was charged with preparing a report on "any and all of the bias crimes presently being investigated" by Nassau Police.
Police Commissioner Lawrence Mulvey and Legis. Kevan Abrahams, a Hempstead Democrat, were named co-chairmans.
Suozzi said he was also troubled by other recent bias crimes, including swastika-filled papers sent to homes in Roslyn, swastikas on a Plandome synagogue, and attacks on an openly gay woman in Sea Cliff and an Iranian woman in Locust Valley.
"Whoever is responsible needs to be held accountable," Abrahams said. "That’s the only way you’re going to eliminate this problem."
Smith said the new task force is separate from the law enforcement task force spearheading the criminal probe after a noose was found inside the Hempstead police station.
"Presently, we’re looking to see if there’s any existing pattern," Smith said.
The new task force will include the Human Rights Commission, Youth Board, the Office of Minority Affairs, Court Appointed Special Advocates and other county agencies.
Members will look at why certain people or communities are targeted for hate crimes, and search for prevention strategies, Smith said.


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