US Mint employee leaves noose on black co-worker's chair and is placed on leave
Frustrated man (Shuttershock)

The U.S. Mint in Philadelphia has placed one of its employees on leave after they placed a noose on the chair of a black co-worker.

CBS News reports that the employee, whose name has not been released publicly, was caught in internal surveillance footage walking across the factory floor holding a noose that they would subsequently place on their colleague's chair at their desk.

The day after the incident occurred, several black U.S. Mint employees sent messages to union representatives demanding action. A subsequent investigation turned up the aforementioned surveillance footage, and the offending employee was placed on administrative leave.

"We have absolutely zero tolerance for the kind of misconduct reported at the Mint," Mint officials said after learning of the incident. "Secretary Mnuchin has directed that this matter be handled swiftly and seriously. The investigation is moving ahead quickly. We strive every day for a workplace environment that is welcoming and safe for all."

Nooses have traditionally been used as tools to racially intimidate black Americans, and several incidents over the last six months have seen black people around the country threatened with nooses.

Last week, for example, a racist customer handed a noose to a black delivery driver, who was told to put the noose around his neck. And over the past two months, no fewer than three nooses have been placed outside the memorial to Martin Luther King, Jr. in Washington, D.C.