VERONA (KDKA) – A disturbing hate crime has been reported at a local business.

Employees of American Beverage Company in Verona found a noose hanging near the facility’s production line.

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The chairman of the company’s civil rights committee said the image smacks of racism and intolerance.

“They’re sending out a real hate message that’s permeating through the whole plant. The blacks in the plant are real apprehensive about this and they’re looking to me to get answers and to try and resolve this thing,” Anvil Wallace said.

Wallace said the company needs to send a clear message that this won’t be tolerated.

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In a written statement, company spokesman Mike Bartlett said, “The union and company are investigating the matter. We take this very seriously, we’re going to be interviewing people. Hopefully, someone will identify the party responsible. And if we determine who they are, they will be terminated.”

A similar incident occurred at the plant a few years ago, but that case was later dropped.

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