NYC butcher gave a noose as a 'gift' to black deliveryman and said he could help him hang himself
New York City Police said Thursday that an African-American delivery man said that he got a noose as a “gift” from a well-known butcher who now is the subject of a hate crime investigation, reports the New York Daily News.
Joe Ottomanelli, of Ottomanelli & Sons Meat Market on Bleecker St., is accused of giving Victor Sheppard a noose fashioned out of yellow rope and an odd message, sources said.
“If you ever have any stress, just put it around your neck and pull it. I could even help you with it,” Sheppard, 36, said Ottomanelli told him.
“I started shaking,” he told the Daily News. “He was laughing. I don’t know what kind of joke that is…”
“Mentally and emotionally, he’s really hurt me. I felt very endangered, just doing my job,” Sheppard said. “This is a man who’s 58-plus. He really thinks handing a noose to a black man is sending a playful message?”
“He once said, ‘Did you know that just a few years ago, black people couldn’t ride in the front of the bus?’” Sheppard said.
A call to boycott the butcher shop has already been made by the national crisis director of the National Action Network, the Rev. Kevin McCall, who said, “In 2017, you would never think someone would hand someone a noose.”
Police also added that Ottomanelli also allegedly made racist statements in the past, and the National Action Network plans to hold a rally for tolerance in front of the butcher’s shop Friday, reports Pix 11.