MASSENA — The Massena Police Department is asking for assistance in identifying who was responsible for leaving a noose on the property of a local resident on Saturday.
Police did not release the location of the residence, but said it was approximately a block away from St. Mary’s Church, which is located on Cornell Avenue.
The department’s Criminal Investigations Unit is handling the case, and Chief Jason M. Olson said every possible resource is being used during the investigation. Neighbors of the family have offered to let police review security footage taken from their residences.
Anyone who has information regarding the origin of the noose, or who was involved in placing the noose at that location, is “strongly urged” to contact the Massena Police Department at 315-769-3577.
“Let it be known that the Massena Police Department takes these matters extremely serious and anyone found to be involved in this will be charged to the fullest extent of the law. This will not be tolerated in our community,” Chief Olson said in an email announcing the investigation.
A member of the family, in a social media post, said her sister had found the noose. The Times is not identifying the family, who are Black, for safety reasons.
“I am glad the Massena PD is taking this seriously and is telling what happened to us to local news to spread awareness but I will not speak about me and my family personally or in general on the news for their safety and mine because you never know what could happen! I appreciate everything that everyone has done for us so much,” she said.
She said, for safety reasons, no updates would be posted on her Facebook page. She said any further information would come from police or a Black Lives Matter group.
Black Lives Matter has scheduled a forum on racial injustice from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday at Emmanuel Congregational United Church of Christ, 39 West Orvis St., Massena.
A march will begin at 2:30 p.m., heading from the church to the Massena Police Department. The event’s Facebook page says the march is to “show our support, demand justice and bring awareness to the community that racism is not going to be accepted. Black lives need to be protected not only by Law Enforcement but also by the community. This cannot be ignored.”
Mayor Timmy J. Currier weighed in on a Facebook post on Sunday.
“Racist behavior is unacceptable in this community, or any community! People from all over the world came to Massena in the middle of the last century to build the St. Lawrence Seaway and NYPA Power Project! Our past is defined by our diversity and our future will be strengthened!,” he said.
“I spoke several times today with Lieutenant Olson regarding this and I can assure you our police department is taking this incident serious and we are allocating all the resources necessary to hold those responsible for this hate crime accountable! Everyone of us should be disgusted by this and should stand shoulder to shoulder with this family to support them and say in loud and clear terms — not here! Not now, not ever!,” Mr. Currier said.