The U.S. Secret Service has placed an agent on leave after an African-American employee reported finding a noose hanging at the agency’s main training facility outside the nation’s capital.
The noose was found by an African-American officer in the uniform division of the service during the week of April 14, according to those familiar with the alleged incident. That division protects the White House and surrounding grounds.
History of complaints
The discovery comes as U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson considers whether to sanction the Secret Service for failing to turn over evidence in a long-running discrimination lawsuit filed by agent Reginald G. Moore, an Atlanta native. Her decision is expected next month.
Moore and nine other plaintiffs contend that the Secret Service created a racially hostile atmosphere that tolerates discrimination and routinely discriminates against black agents seeking promotion in favor of lower-scoring white agents.
Nearly 60 black agents have submitted sworn statements to the court in support of the lawsuit’s allegations.
Robinson has already sanctioned the service three times since the discovery process of the lawsuit began 3 1/2 years ago.
The African-American officer who found the noose at the training center reported the incident to his supervisor, and it was sent up the chain of command. He declined to comment for this article.
Co-workers, who said they could not speak on the record because of Secret Service rules, said the suspended employee is a white man.
The agency has denied the allegations and is now appealing all of the sanctions issued by Robinson.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson