Family at heart of noose investigation fears for their safety

Family at heart of noose investigation fears for their safety

MASSENA, N.Y. (WWNY) - A noose found in a Black family’s yard in Massena has left neighbors shocked and sad. Village police are investigating.

A photo of a noose is drawing strong reaction on Facebook. It was found in front of a Black family’s home in Massena Saturday. People in the Alcoa Fields neighborhood where the family lives have heard about it.

“We’re all supposed to be in this world together. I mean, to think that someone can treat another human being that way – it hurts me,” said Brandon Smith, Massena resident.

Smith said he worked with two members of the family at a grocery store and got to know them. That’s another reason for the hurt.

“To take people that are happy and make them feel like they’re less – it’s wrong,” he said.

The family does not want to be identified. The woman posting the noose photo said family members are afraid they could be targeted – again.

She posted on Facebook: “... You never know what could happen.”

Sunday night, Massena police did their own Facebook post. They are investigating and seeking information. They want the public to know what they are doing. It read in part: “Every possible resource is being utilized.” And “This will not be tolerated in our community.”

Public reaction to the noose incident has been swift. Black Lives Matter plans a march to the Maseena Police Station on Saturday. And there’s a petition at Change.org calling for public officials to act.

A Black Lives Matter march in Potsdam in June drew hundreds. Monday in Massena, people were realizing that racism is not just something that happens somewhere else.

“This is 2020. It needs to stop. Everything needs to stop,” said Nikita Levalley, Brasher resident.

Massena police had offered no updates on the case by late afternoon Monday.

Black Lives Matter said it’s working with the family to prepare a statement for Tuesday.

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