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FBI investigating apparent noose found in Black firefighter’s locker

The FBI seal is seen before FBI Director Christopher Wray news conference on the inspector general's report at FBI headquarters on Thursday, June 14, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

(CNN) — The FBI has launched an investigation after a piece of rope resembling a noose was found in the locker of a Black firefighter in a suburb of Minneapolis.

“A piece of rope tied into what appears to be a crude noose” was found last week in the firefighter’s gear locker at a fire station in Bloomington, Minnesota, but the incident wasn’t reported to the department’s leadership until Thursday, Bloomington Mayor Tim Busse said in a statement released on Saturday.

Contacted by CNN, the mayor said he couldn’t discuss more details about the incident or the firefighter.

An FBI spokesperson from the bureau’s Minneapolis field office told CNN in an email Saturday that the office is investigating the incident but had no further updates. The city had asked the FBI to investigate the incident, according to the mayor’s statement.

The noose was discovered on June 15 and the incident was reported to Bloomington Fire Department leadership on June 23, Busse said in the statement. The city is located about 10 miles south of downtown Minneapolis.

“I am disgusted, angry, and embarrassed by this cowardly act,” Busse said. “To be clear, this incident is very serious and is being dealt with aggressively.”

Busse said the city has “a strict workplace policy that forbids all types of discriminatory and disrespectful behavior” and won’t tolerate that type of behavior.

In a separate statement, Bloomington Fire Chief Ulie Seal said the firefighter who notified officials about the noose “demonstrated extreme strength and bravery and has done the right thing.”

“Acts like this that embody hate, intimidation, and aggression will not be tolerated,” Seal said.

The mayor said he told city employees at a staff meeting this week that “no place for this disgusting display of hatred in our organization” and those violating the city’s workforce policy will be held accountable.

Busse is expected to provide more details about the incident on Monday.

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