A series of hangman’s nooses targeting a specific sailor were discovered aboard a Navy destroyer in February, prompting officials to investigate who could be behind the use of the “hate symbol.”
Officials said ropes were found on three separate occasions last month near the rack, or bed, of an individual sailor on the destroyer USS Laboon, Navy Times reported.
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Navy officials did not share the race of the allegedly targeted sailor, but spokesperson Lt. Cmdr. Jason Fischer said “any symbol or act of racism violates our core values of honor, courage and commitment.”
An investigation into the use of the “hate symbol” is ongoing, officials said.
Fischer confirmed to Navy Times that at least one “ripe tied similar to a slipknot” was found on a sailor’s rack.
“The ship investigated this incident expeditiously after the rope was discovered,” Fischer said. “The Navy takes reports of intimidation seriously and will continue to investigate incidents of potential misconduct aboard Laboon.”
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The allegedly targeted sailor declined an offer to transfer to another ship, Fischer said. The sailor was also offered counseling services.
The Laboon is a 30-year-old guided missile destroyer based out of Norfolk, Virginia, according to the Naval Vessel Register.
Other nooses have been found on Navy ships in recent years.
In 2021, a noose was found on a black sailor’s bunk on the cruiser USS Lake Champlain, as reported by Task & Purpose. And in 2017, a noose was discovered in an engineering space on the destroyer USS Ramage, as reported by Navy Times.
In the 2021 instance, a sailor admitted to leaving the noose and was removed from the ship. For the 2017 case, it is not clear from news reports that a culprit was ever identified.