Minnesota Noose Investigation Closed

An investigation into a noose left hanging in the locker of a Bloomington, Minnesota firefighter last June has ended with without investigators being able to conclude who was responsible. The crudely tied noose was found on June 15, 2020, prompting the city to request the Federal Bureau of Investigation to investigate.

Bloomington Fire Chief Ulie Seal issued a statement yesterday that read:

February 9, 2021

Dear Bloomington Community:

It has been seven months since the FBI was requested to investigate and, thereafter, opened a case regarding a rope tied into a crude noose that was found in the locker of a Bloomington firefighter who is Black. This case outraged not only citizens, but also firefighters who serve alongside the targeted employee. I responded to the incident that in no uncertain terms, this type of activity and behavior is disgusting and has no place in the City of Bloomington. I believe that to this day.

In the months since, FBI agents have conducted dozens of interviews, sent the rope to the FBI’s lab in Quantico, Virginia, for forensic examination and followed every lead down every trail. At this point, there is no conclusive evidence linking any individual or group to the incident. For now, the City and FBI consider the case closed. Having said that, if you have any information about the incident that you think may be useful, please reach out to the FBI’s Minneapolis field office at 763-569-8000 or contact the Bloomington Police Department at 952-563-4900.

— Ulie Seal, Fire Chief

More on the story.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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