PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - A noose made of rope was discovered Monday at the Chevron refinery in Pascagoula. And now, an investigation is underway to determine who placed the noose on the refinery's grounds.
Chevron spokesman Alan Sudduth said he didn't what time of day the noose was discovered and would not say who discovered it. He confirmed the noose was hanging on the property, and said he wasn't aware of a note or a message attached to it.
"We were notified of a noose hanging in an operating unit at the Pascagoula refinery," said Sudduth. "It was removed. It has been reported and an investigation is underway through our refinery security and investigative team. We have been in contact with the Jackson County Sheriff's Department."
For much of the day, groups like the Mississippi Rising Coalition and the Jackson County NAACP have used social media to conduct their own investigations, and ask anyone who may know anything about the noose incident to step forward.
Sudduth confirmed the refinery manager sent an internal memo reminding the 1,600 Chevron employees and thousands of contractors of the importance of an inclusive, diverse and harassment-free work environment and telling employees that an internal investigation is underway. He's certain individual managers addressed this but there was not a big company meeting on it.
"The core value of our refinery is diversity and inclusion and we are not going to tolerate any discriminatory or harassing action or behavior that undermine such important part of our work environment," Sudduth said.
Chevron is asking any employee with info about the noose to report it; the company has a hotline and ways to report issues and remain anonymous. "We want people to feel comfortable to come forward," said Sudduth.
The Jackson County Sheriff's Department has been notified, but right now the investigation is internal and Sudduth says the sheriff has offered any assistance necessary.
"The 1,600 Chevron employees and thousands of contractors, by in large, come to work every day to work safely, to do work the Chevron way, and be respectful to fellow employees," said Sudduth. "Such incidents are quite disappointing considering what management and employees do every day to be inclusive."