More incidents of racism and discrimination have come to light in the week since a Molson Coors employee killed five people before killing himself. Yet, the police refuse to cite racism as a factor in the shootings.
On Tuesday, an official for the company added to the accusations of racism when they confirmed that a noose was found in Ferrill’s locker five years ago, according to CBS 58.
A chief communications officer for Molson Coors, Adam Collins, further explained, “There was an incident that’s been discussed about a noose that was found in a locker. Which is abhorrent. Five years ago or not, it is absolutely unacceptable.”
CBS 58 also obtained copies of 21 complaints filed against Molson Coors over the course of six years. They were filed with the State’s Department of Workforce Development Equal Rights Division. Workers say they were treated unfairly because of their sex, age, disability and race. Out of the 21 complaints received by CBS 58, none of them were filed by the shooter. However, the amount of complaints still support evidence that the workplace was toxic.
Despite the records, the Milwaukee police still wont’ cite racism as a factor in the February 26 shooting that took the lives of Jesus Valle Jr., Gennady Levshetz, Trevor Wetselaar, Dana Walk, and Dale Hudson.
In a Wednesday statement they said, “Milwaukee Police detectives have interviewed several witnesses regarding the suspect’s actions and statements leading up to the incident. As a result of the preliminary investigation, neither race nor racism has been identified as a factor in this incident. This investigation remains ongoing.”
They continued, “Based upon the preliminary investigation, the Milwaukee Police Department is not aware of any of the victims targeted in the mass shooting being involved in any inappropriate or racist behavior toward the suspect. Therefore, the narrative of retaliation being the suspect’s motive has not been substantiated.”
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Ferrill did have some tension with one of the victims, according to a co-worker whose identity is being protected. Ferrill was an electrician at Molson Coors for 17 years and according to the Journal Sentinel, “The co-worker said Ferrill often watched movies on his phone during the day, which the other man took issue with, and that the two accused each other of going into each others’ offices and stealing tools or tampering with computer equipment.”
All of the victims in the shooting were non-Black.
As more race discrimination is being revealed at the brewery, elected officials in Milwaukee have spoken out.
“Obviously concerns have been raised, and I think Molson Coors has an obligation and it recognizes that it has an obligation to make sure that it’s workplace is one that is respectful,” explained Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. “And obviously I encourage that very strongly.”
“We have to make that a welcoming conversation,” said State Senator Lena Taylor. “It may not be comfortable, but we have to be open to hear and receive our differences and actually our diversity is our strength.”
According to CBS 58, Adam Collins said Molson Coors is now listening to employees and partnering with organizations outside the company to create a more inclusive workplace.
It’s unfortunate a tragic incident finally caused them to take notice.