'Just fear, just total fear' - Photo depicts noose allegedly found by Black man at Riverhead workplace
A new photo shows the noose allegedly found by a man at his Riverhead workplace, which has since led to an over $1 million lawsuit.
George Richards says he found the noose hanging on a coat rack at his job at United Riverhead Terminal. He made the discovery in 2015 and filed a complaint with the Riverhead Police Department that he claims went nowhere.
"I told my marine supervisor what I saw and his response was -- why do I need to know who put the noose there?" says Richards.
Since then, the father of four filed a lawsuit against the company and Riverhead police. His attorney says given the current climate, he believes more people will pay attention this time.
The 57-year-old Richards says when he found the noose, he felt scared and a lack of knowing who to trust. He says he knew the noose was directed toward him.
"Just fear, just total fear ... I told them that I felt very discriminated and you know - being the only Black person working there," says Richards.
Richards says his boss told him the noose was a joke meant for a co-worker of his who was retiring.
"They said someone made a joke with him and asked him how's he's going to spend his retirement," says Richards. "He said he's going to hang himself- so someone made a noose and gave it to him."
Richards says the Riverhead Police Department gave him a list of managers it was investigating a short time after, but that was all. He says he hasn't been given any information since.
Richards is seeking over $1 million in damages.
News 12 reached out to Riverhead police and United Riverhead Terminal for comment, but did not hear back.