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Victim of racist incident at Oriental Trading Co. fears for his safety

 An Omaha man hasn't been back to work since a noose fashioned out of string was left on the seat of his floor sweeper and scrubber Thursday night. He says he now fears for his safety and that the coworker, who was fired over the incident, has been following him around. (WOWT)
An Omaha man hasn't been back to work since a noose fashioned out of string was left on the seat of his floor sweeper and scrubber Thursday night. He says he now fears for his safety and that the coworker, who was fired over the incident, has been following him around. (WOWT) (WOWT)
Published: Jun. 24, 2020 at 6:01 PM CDT
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An Omaha man is concerned for his own safety — and an investigation is underway — after he was targeted

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Keith Kirksey said he cannot sleep, wondering what comes next, since a noose was left on his chair at work last week.

He hasn't been back to work since this noose fashioned out of string was left on the seat of his floor sweeper and scrubber Thursday night.

"Nobody should put up with this," Kirksey said. "Black, brown, green, or a Martian. They shouldn't have to put up with this. Nobody."

The CEO of Oriental Trading here in La Vista says hate has no place in the company and has told workers to turn in their badge if they think otherwise.

Kirksey is the only one who uses that piece of equipment in the warehouse. That was the night of his anniversary; four years on the job at OTC.

"I guess it was a joke to him," he said. "It was my anniversary date. They all know when I started."

The company fired the man responsible, and a criminal probe is underway by the Sarpy County Sheriff's Office.

"(I) keep thinking about it -- why would someone want to do that? I hear on the news about other hangings in the U.S. You'd think this stuff would stop, but it keeps going on and on,” Kirksey said.

He said the incident is now affecting his health.

"I'm still super upset," he said. "Every time I talk about it or think about it -- I can't sleep. I'm up and down all night looking out the window."

And he's still worried about the guy who put the noose on his chair.

"He already followed me to my doctor's office," Kirksey said. "I had to go downtown to Clarkson clinic, and he followed me from Blondo to Leavenworth. He acted like he was going to crash into me. I had to call the police when I got to the clinic yesterday."

Deputies talked with the victim yesterday. As of tonight, the man who was fired for putting the noose on the chair has not yet been charged with any crimes, but we are told it's still early in the investigation.

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