A week ago, 51-year-old Anthony Ferrill killed himself and five of his co-workers at the Molson Coors Brewery in Milwaukee. While a motive is still unclear, recently revealed information may provide some context as to why he committed such a heinous act.
Molson Coors has revealed that in 2015, Ferrill arrived to work to find that a noose had been put on his locker, according to NBC News. Ferrill didn’t see the noose but was instead informed by HR of the incident. The company launched an internal investigation of the incident but the culprit was never found.
Adam Collins, Molson Coors’ chief communications and corporate affairs officer, has said, “There aren’t words to describe that; it’s awful.” Collins went on to release a statement that said:
“There’s no two ways about it. We have more work to do. Fostering an inclusive and welcoming workplace is something every organization has to work towards each day, and we aren’t going to shy away from our responsibility to take a deep look at our own culture following this event.”
State Sen. Lena Taylor believed that this incident could have contributed to Ferrill’s actions. She stated, “From what we’re hearing on the ground, and knowing Milwaukee’s racial climate, yes, there’s certainly a possibility that this incident may have been a motive in the shooting.”
Workplace racism is, unfortunately, common. I feel like most folks of the black and brown persuasion have stories of racist incidents in the workplace. It’s no reason to take the lives of others. It’s also pretty sad that it took a man shooting up his workplace to convince a company to build a healthier culture.