Omaha man sentenced to prison for leaving noose on Black co-worker’s seat
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – An Omaha man will spend months in prison for intimidating a Black co-worker with a noose, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Bruce A. Quinn, 66, was sentenced Friday to four months in prison for interference with federally protected activities, which is a civil rights violation.
On June 18, 2020, a 63-year-old Black man, arrived for his shift at the Oriental Trading Company, where he worked with an industrial floor scrubber.
He arrived at the machine and found an 8 to 12-inch piece of orange twine that was made into the shape of a noose on the seat, the attorney’s office said.
The man was the only Black employee trained to use the scrubber, according to the attorney’s office.
He told investigators that the noose made him “extremely distraught,” the attorney’s office said.
The man believed the noose to be a death threat directed at him, authorities said.
“Federal courts have long recognized the noose as one of the most vile symbols in American history,” Kristen Clarke, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, said in a press release. “Individuals, like this defendant, who use a noose to convey a threat of violence at a workplace will be held accountable for their actions.”
Eugene Kowal, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Omaha Division, said Quinn used “an ugly historical symbol to intimidate a coworker.”
Once he is released from prison, Quinn will serve a one-year term of supervised release.
There is no parole in the federal system.