EXCLUSIVE....Noose Found in CPS State Office

By Camaron Abundes 
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND- The state CPS office says they've closed the door on the case of a Hangman's noose found in a Midland CPS office and it is now in the hands of the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The CPS employee who filed the complaint, spoke to Newswest 9 on condition of anonymity. The employee said the noose was displayed in a state building she was asked to go into during a holiday party. The doll was on display and caught her eye, she complained and the doll was taken down, but the employee says no one was reprimanded and they never offered an apology. She told Newswest 9 she waited to bring the story to the media for fear she might lose her job and to give the agency a chance to right what she felt was a wrong.

"We did look into this. The person who complained does not work in this building and therefore there was no intent to offend that person. Our inquiry into it is now closed. The matter also was referred to the EEOC, so you might want to contact that agency," Patrick Crimmins, State Public Information Officer for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services said in an email.
"It doesn't matter if she was going to be in the building or not, what does matter is it simply did happen. Regardless of where she was supposed to be, and for those who were there to allow it to happen that's the problem," President and CEO of the Black Chamber of Commerce of the Permian Basin, Odel Crawford, said.

Newswest 9 sat down with Crawford to talk about the hangman's noose.

"That was the symbol of racists and racism in America," Crawford said, who says also throughout history the symbol has represented hate, "More than just for African American's, but for all Americans, the hangman's noose has a negative connotation."

The picture captured in a CPS office in December is of a light complected doll with black curly hair, in a Texas Tech jersey and a noose wrapped around it's neck.

"We as African American's come in all shades and colors," Crawford said, who dispelled the idea the doll did not represent an African American, because it had light skin.

President of the NAACP Odessa Chapter Gene Collins says the noose has appeared periodically in West Texas, but cautioned viewers not to jump to conclusions.

"Just a noose by itself is really not an expression of hate, there is a first amendment that allows everyone to express themselves any way they want. Just when it's aimed at someone," Collins who says there was no evidence the doll was intended to offend the employee, said. "It was not near her cubicle, or a letter with her name on it or anything like that. "

Collins says it is important to talk about cases like this. Collins also said he was working with State Representative Buddy West (R) to create a bill that would make the display of a hangman's noose a hate crime.