Sunday, April 09, 2017
Must not joke about nooses
A well-known New York butcher is being investigated for a hate crime after he was accused of giving a noose to a black deliveryman along with a hateful message, according to police sources.
The New York Daily News reports that according to its police sources, Joe Ottomanelli, of Manhattan’s Ottomanelli & Sons Meat Market, fashioned a noose out of yellow rope, gave it to 36-year-old deliveryman Victor Sheppard and told him, “If you ever have any stress, just put it around your neck and pull it. I could even help you with it.”
Sheppard told the Daily News that he froze when Ottomanelli presented the noose to him as a “gift” Tuesday morning.
“I started shaking,” Sheppard said. “He was laughing. I don’t know what kind of joke that is.”
Sheppard went to the 6th Precinct police stationhouse and filed a report immediately, the Daily News reports. An investigation into the incident has been launched by the Hate Crimes Task Force.
Ottomanelli, 58, told the Daily News on Thursday that he has no beef (heh) with Sheppard and that the whole thing was a joke. “We were just fooling around,” Ottomanelli said, and added that he never thought that what he considered a joke would be taken as a racial attack.