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Nooses, Anger and No Answers: Inside the Uproar Over a Future Amazon Site


Representatives for Amazon and the other companies involved say they have done everything they can, delaying construction twice, adding security and cameras at the site and putting up $100,000 in award money for anyone who can provide information about the nooses. Those are unusual steps, particularly for Amazon, which often avoids getting caught up in local affairs. The companies also say their power is somewhat limited, because there are dozens of subcontractors that have a hand in the project and are not under their direct control.

Adding to the turmoil is disagreement about even some of the most basic facts of the case, like how many nooses have been found. The N.A.A.C.P., which has held multiple news conferences in Windsor, says there were up to eight nooses. The police say two were actual nooses, while the six others were ropes with the kind of loop often used in construction projects.

“I don’t recall anything like this ever happening before,” Mr. Trinks said about his town. “I don’t know what the message is” that the perpetrators are trying to send, he said, “but it’s an offensive and disgusting statement.”

The site of the future Windsor Amazon fulfillment center — part of a huge building spree by the company — sits four miles from the center of town, near Interstate 91. It is surrounded by rolling farm fields with few buildings across the landscape, and is expected to serve the greater New York and Connecticut area.

As with many of its new warehouses, Amazon will not take ownership until the project is complete, which is expected next spring. Until then, the site is owned by Scannell Properties, a developer based in Indiana. Scannell has hired RC Andersen, a New Jersey company, to handle the construction, including hiring around three dozen subcontractors.

The steel frame of the building, which will end up standing five stories tall with 3.8 million square feet of space for Amazon goods, was rising by December.

The problems began a few months later. In late April, a local television reporter, acting on a tip, asked the town’s police chief whether his department would look into a noose found on the second floor of the rising building. The local chapter of the N.A.A.C.P. was sent a similar tip as well as a photograph of the noose hanging.



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