SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Three city employees in Springfield have been suspended for 60 days without pay for separate incidents in which nooses were hung at their workplaces.

A black employee reported finding a noose July 26 in the area where he worked at City Water, Light & Power, and another employee was arrested Aug. 6 for allegedly hanging a noose from a forklift at a different CWLP facility.

A spokesman for Mayor Timothy Davlin says he doesn’t believe the suspensions have begun.

Nooses are emblematic of Jim Crow-era lynchings. But a Sangamon County grand jury declined to deliver indictments last week.

Davlin’s office initially wouldn’t provide details about the punishment. The Springfield branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People contends the employees should be fired.

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