African American Worker Reports Incident; Town Of Islip Launches Investigation

ISLIP, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Islip town worker Cleveland Gamble said he was shocked and sickened after he walked into the common area in a Parks Department building on Halloween night.

“I discovered that there was, like, a mannequin, a dummy, a stuffed dummy in a town uniform hanging from a noose,” he said.

He said he snapped a photo of the disturbing sight and told a supervisor. The dangling dummy wore a skeleton mask.

“I was shocked and I was hurt. I was devastated,” he told WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall.

WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall On The Story

Gamble asked the shop steward to take it down. Gamble said the co-worker who had hung the mannequin apologized profusely, saying he intended it only as a prank.

“Although I am accepting your apology I am going to have to document this because I’ve had past situations,” Gamble said he told the co-worker.

Gamble claims in 2007 he reported three racial incidents to the town and county. On Thursday, he sought the counsel of a lawyer, reports CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan.

“Litigation has not begun as of yet. What we did today was to file a formal written complaint with the Town of Islip,” attorney Ivan Young said.

The act was perceived as discrimination and harassment by the town, for which it said it has a zero-tolerance policy.

“We want our employees to act professionally at all times and treat each other with dignity and respect,” Islip Labor Relations Director Robert Finnegan said. “Any prank even on Halloween is unacceptable.”

Suffolk County Police said that the incident does “not” appear to be of a criminal nature. Islip council members are urging sensitivity training.

“Coming from South Carolina, having a cross burned on my yard as a kid, this opened up some old wounds,” Gamble said.

The 51-year-old said he doesn’t want the man who hung the mannequin fired.

“The message I want to get is that this will not be tolerated,” Gamble said.

The town said the co-worker — a foreman — will be disciplined. Other co-workers said it was Halloween night. There were dummies, ghouls and goblins hanging from nooses all over town.

What do you have to say about this story? Sound off in the comments section below.

Comments (34)
  1. George says:

    Boy i sure do miss the GOOD OL days back on the cotton plantation. ya know were justice was seved.

  2. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx says:

    I love giving Halloween candy to black kids that come to my white neighborhood I do not think they celebrate in the ghetto. Breaking news MSNBC just reported Obama will change the White House name to the Black House if elected a second term check ..This country and its policy’s are retarded no wonder we are in the shape we are

  3. Tommy C says:

    TOO Fu_ kin bad …..Get over it . This isn’t the South….. so me the paperwork where some clowns burnt a cross on ur lawn . O poor me … fellings were hurt i need counseling and a ton of money to make me feel better about myself.The poor ole black man feels whitey is discrimminating against him .To hell w/ur so called pain. WTF is going on in this country…..Its a Fu_kin prank on Halloween….GET OVER IT ……sensitvity training MY -ASS.

  4. Tommy C says:

    TOO Fu_ kin bad …..Get over it . This isn’t the South….. so me the paperwork where some clowns burnt a cross on ur lawn . O poor me … fellings were hurt i need counseling and a ton of money to make me feel better about myself.The poor ole black man feels whitey is discrimminating against him .To hell w/ur so called pain. WTF is going on in this country…..Its a Fu_kin prank on Halloween….GET5 OVER IT ……sensitvity training MY -ASS.

  5. Crime Watch says:

    It’s a Mannequin. Get over it. I don’t see a name tag on it that says Tyrome or a sign that says “Hi. I’am black”. You want to be outraged about something? How about black on black crime or school closings.

  6. EasterBunny says:

    Why even bother making news out of this (ESPECIALLY since it happened on fakeng HALLOWEEN!!!)? All it does is add to racial tensions tthat we already have too much of.

    Oh that’s right because jews control the media. How could I forget? Must be getting senile.

  7. Bill Cudnyj says:

    gamble, get over yourself, u have no lawsuit, & dont deserve to get a penny.

    1. Sonya Blumpkin says:

      No noose is good noose.

  8. ec says:

    It was HalloF***ingWeen! What is wrong with people?! In my neighborhood, several residents decorated their front lawns with fake tombstones that sported humorous epitaphs. Should I report them to the police for mocking death and possibly upsetting pedestrians who have loved ones buried in cemeteries? Good grief.

    I absolutely disagree that the hanging mannequin joke was in poor taste. What was in VERY poor taste was the cross that was left burning outside Mr. Gamble’s boyhood home. The co-worker who pulled the fun prank should not be held accountable for the sickening actions of those KKK cowards.

  9. DaEmph says:

    white folks say the dumbest things sometimes….and yet they wonder why catastrophic things happen to them.

    1. George says:

      Ya but black folks do the DUMBEST !!! thinges!

  10. Carla says:

    Mr. Gamble is a gentleman for not exposing the person who did this silly act, Halloween or Not. Someone’s past pain should not be mocked. We don’t ask a rape victim to forget their past on Halloween, nor do we ask a Jew person to forget their past on Halloween, then why Blacks.

    1. Bill Cudnyj says:

      this was something 4 halloween, it wasnt meant for anything more. this became news because the guy was black, there was no reason 4 this 2 be reported. he’s looking for a payday by retaining a lawyer. as a punishment for being a idiot, he should have to decorate the whole town next halloween. if the mannequin was WHITE the guy wouldnt have said a damn thing. he should be fired for being a trouble maker.

  11. Robert says:

    Stupid people do stupid things. This isn’t murder, it’s a prank in poor taste.

  12. Danny says:

    How the heck do you think I feel? Halloween is a very traumatizing time of year for me. My dad was a pumpkin.

    1. SAMMY says:


    2. Carla says:

      Stop being silly, this was hurtful and inappropriate.

      1. Danny says:

        I’ll stop being silly when you stop being stupid-dumb.

  13. Walter77777 says:

    Hey, LIberals are Evil: I think you wanted to say that Blacks were not the only people to have been hanged. Of course you ,may also have been telling us about your experiences with men of diffeent races.

    I apoligize in advance for what may be deemed a homophobic remark.

    Shame on me!


  14. Jimmy says:

    I think the comments on this board prove a point.

    1. George says:

      AMEN Jimmy

  15. Meme Meyagi says:

    i am traumatized when i see black babies photos on diaper bags. will file suit for millions for emotional distress. same goes for black barbie dolls. anyone wants to join me in class action lawsuit?

    1. bill cudnyj says:

      lets go, i need the cash

    2. GW says:

      Black Barbie is now sold with a pack of 12 black babies. Black Ken says they’re not his… usual. Now she has to go to the Welfare office playset.

    3. George says:

      Dont forget black kids on my cereal box! Im with you were do i sign 🙂

  16. where will it end says:

    Im suing because most clowns are white on halloween and it sickens me. Im also suing Pillsbury because the dough boy is white and it makes me think all others think all whites are fat. After that Im going after the Stay Puff marshmallow man. I think I suffer from mental anguish from all of this

  17. CT Native says:

    Prank or not, it was a STUPID thing to do.

  18. Liberals Are Evil says:

    You black folks need to get a life. Blacks were not only people that have been hung…Get over it!!!

    1. Devenio says:

      I was thinking the same thing… and I’m black! People commit suicide every day by hanging. A lot of countries still execute prisoners by hanging. I don’t thing black folk have an exclusive on being hung.

  19. Jimmy says:

    How do I get out of here?

  20. Surfin Bird says:

    this was on Halloween.

    African Americans need to have a sense of humor.

    1. Devenio says:

      Please don’t put in entire race of people into something that one person has a problem with.

  21. Tipper says:

    I’m sure this black man will sue. They all do

    1. Devenio says:

      Do we? Maybe I didn’t get the memo. Are we suppose to sue people all the time? I gotta catch on my quota of suing people. I’ll start with you Tipper. Please provide your name and address belong so my lawyer can get in contact with you. I’m suing you because… ? I think of something.

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