Noose found in Molson Coors employee’s locker years before fatal shootings

Former employees told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that several months after the noose was discovered, racist notes were also found in Anthony Ferrill’s locker

Molson Coors
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - FEBRUARY 26: Emergency personnel work the scene of a shooting at the Molson Coors Brewing Co. campus on February 26, 2020 (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)

Anthony Ferrill, the employee who killed five co-workers at Milwaukee’s Molson Coors brewery on Feb. 26 before killing himself, may have been retaliating for past racist incidents directed at him. One involved a noose.

Allegedly, someone left a noose in Ferrill’s locker back in 2015. Other incidents included people slipping racist notes and an ace of spades playing card inside Ferrill’s locker according to the former employees who think Ferrill was “pushed too far.”

Ferrill was Black and four of the people he killed were White. The fifth person was Latino, reported The Associated Press.

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The former employees, Robert Powell and Lonnie Carl Jones, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that several months after the noose was discovered, racist notes were also found in the electrician’s locker.

Jones told the Associated Press that he worked at the brewery from 2013 until 2019 and said it was a racially toxic culture where racist slurs were scrawled on bathroom stalls and workers traveled in cliques based on their race. He said a Hispanic employee once refused to train him because he is black, but said whenever he told HR, nothing was ever done about it.

Jones told AP that Ferrill told him about an incident several years ago where someone slipped an ace of spades playing card inside his locker.

“We knew what that meant,” Jones told the wire service. “It’s calling you black, like a spade.”

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Jones added that the company “had bad seeds and they never tried to weed them out.” Ferrill was described as a “quiet man” who didn’t bother anyone but was likely pushed to the brink.

Police, however, warn that race has not been proven to be a factor. In a statement, police cautioned people to not form their own conclusions but let the investigation run its course.

Officials stated, “neither race nor racism has been identified as a factor in this incident.” They also said their investigation so far hasn’t shown that the victims were racially harassing Ferrill, but said the investigation is ongoing.

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“It is imperative to wait for the facts of the investigation to be released rather than speculating and generating a false narrative that could negatively impact the lives of the family members of the victims and of the suspect, as well as the employees of Molson Coors,” the statement said, according to the AP.

Adam Collins, a Molson Coors spokesman, confirmed on Wednesday that someone had put a noose inside of Ferrill’s locker in 2015. Collins, who called the incident “disgusting,” said Ferrill wasn’t at work that day and was later told about the racist act.

Collins said there was no security surveillance video showing who the person responsible but said no evidence points to the shooting victims.