ANOTHER SHOCKING HATE CRIME- Hanging Stuffed Monkey!… Update: Hanging Cracker Jacks!
*** NewsChannel 5 decided not to show pictures of the hanging monkey because of their “potential inflammatory nature.”
(A stuffed monkey???)
Warning: Offensive images of hanging monkey below!
Stuffed Monkey and Crackerjack Box found hanging at St. Louis Firehouse!!
The FBI has been called in to investigate.
The stuffed monkey was found hanging at Firehouse #1 at South Jefferson and Pestalozzi near the Budwieser plant.
The FBI on Wednesday began an investigation into a racially charged situation at a St. Louis firehouse.
Meanwhile, the Firefighters’ Institute for Racial Equality, a predominately African-American group of firefighters, held a news conference to weigh in on the incident.
The center of controversy is a stuffed animal monkey.
Officials said some firefighters found it a couple of weeks ago at a fire scene, but it ended up hanging by its neck in the firehouse and investigators want to know why.
It wasn’t clear how long the investigation would take, but city officials said if it’s determined to be a hate crime, they will seek punishment against those involved.
NewsChannel 5 decided not to show pictures of the hanging monkey because of their potential inflammatory nature.
KMOV has video from the hanging monkey press conference.
Warning: Screen shots are posted below.
Hat Tip to Allman and Crane.
UPDATE: A hanging crackerjack box was also found!!!
Late Wednesday night, FIRE Chairman Addington Stewart said there was another incident at Engine House 1 at the intersection of South Jefferson Avenue and Pestalozzi Street.
Stewart said an African-American fire captain entered the building and found a noose and a box of what may have been cracker jacks.
Stewart said the captain reported the incident to his supervisors at the fire department and FIRE.
KSDK also has video of the suspected “hate crimes” at the firehouse.
Another photo of the hanging monkey at the St. Louis firehouse. (KMOV)
The FBI is investigating.
More… KMOV has more on the hanging cracker jacks:
News 4 has confirmed that another racial incident is under investigation at a St. Louis firehouse.
Wednesday evening F.I.R.E Vice Chair Wayne Luster and fire department spokesperson Kim Bacon told News 4 the incident is now under investigation in the city fire department.
The city fire department tells News 4 that this case is going straight to the FBI.
This is the second case turned over to the FBI this week.
According to Luster the incident occurred Wednesday evening at Firehouse #1 at South Jefferson and Pestalozzi on the city’s south side.
Luster tells News 4 that a black fire fighter was called into the firehouse kitchen by a white fireman, and was shown a box of crackers tied around with a noose.
UPDATE 2: Fire Chief Sherman George (who is black) was directed by Mayor Slay (who is white) to “make all the promotions necessary to fill the more than 30 positions in the department which have remained vacant for at least three years because of a legal battle over the promotions test.” This was back in September.
Sherman George refused to do so.
So, Sherman George was demoted by the mayor and his replacement immediately ordered the more than two-dozen promotions his former boss refused to make.
Then the former fire chief Sherman George retired.
Sherman alleged racism and local politicians rallied for the mayor’s removal.
There was never any problems with hate crimes until the black fire chief was demoted. Now, all of the sudden there are stuffed monkeys hanging in the firehouse.
UPDATE 3: From the St. Louis Post Dispatch:
Chris Molitor, head of the firefighters Local 73 union, said the stuffed animal had been found at a fire several weeks ago by personnel at the station, situated in the city’s Hamilton Heights neighborhood.
“It was put on the coat rack because it was wet and it was drying,” Molitor said. As for the rope, he said, it “has been attached to that coat rack for several years.”
Public Safety Director Charles Bryson, who oversees the fire
department, said the rope was used for training.
“It is not a noose,” Bryson said. “It’s to practice tying knots.”
Even so, City Hall has turned over the inquiry to the FBI, which investigates hate crimes.
“In the current climate, we need to determine if it was a hate crime or wasn’t a hate crime,” Bryson said.