Redmond detectives are investigating an alleged hate crime after a Black carpenter reported finding a noose with a piece of tape containing his name and tools that appeared to be his at a construction work site for Facebook's parent company Meta, authorities say.
The 33-year-old carpenter reported the incident at the project site of Building X, a planned laboratory for engineers at Facebook Reality Lab in the 10200 block of Willows Road, to police on Saturday, said Ann Fein, with the Redmond Police Department. The carpenter told police it had occurred nine days prior and was weighing heavily on his mind, she added.
"In our view it is absolutely a hate crime from what he's explained to us," Fein said Tuesday.
The carpenter did not respond to request for comment Wednesday.
General contractor BNBuilders confirmed Wednesday that the alleged hate crime occurred at its work site and that company officials were informed of the incident Monday. The West Coast-based company said it reported the incident to Redmond police.
Four employees were immediately placed on administrative leave pending results of an investigation that includes interviews with a dozen people who may have seen or been aware of the incident, BNBuilders spokesperson Jim Charpentier said in a prepared statement.
Charpentier added the company has held two meetings with the project's workers and is in the process of bringing in a consultant for companywide training.
"We offer to the employee targeted by this vile act both our unreserved solidarity and our commitment to getting him justice," he said. "No person should feel mistreated, threatened, or harassed at their workplace, and certainly never at our workplace."
Fein said detectives are conducting interviews and carrying out an investigation into the incident.
The noose was found inside a shared trailerlike workspace where employees can store their tools, she said.
A Black laborer who worked on Microsoft's major campus renovation project in Redmond, just miles from the Meta project site, is suing the software company for alleged racial discrimination he says took place on the job, according to outlet Construction Dive.
The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington issued summons last week for Microsoft, Skanska and Balfour Beatty to respond to a discrimination and whistleblower suit.
The worker alleged in his lawsuit, filed in April, that he returned to his work cart to find a cardboard sign with the message "This is not a safe space."