Updated: Friday, 23 Oct 2009, 6:51 PM EDT
Published : Friday, 23 Oct 2009, 5:43 PM EDT
By: Annie Rourke
Cheshire (WTNH) - The West Haven man had only been on the job for two months, but there was tension with one of his co-workers. Things got really bad when that co-worker did something very inappropriate, but now the victim's paying the price.
Keith Brantley had been working the overnight shift at Bozzuto's in Cheshire in the parts department. He and another co-worker were not getting along, Brantley said. He was the only African-American in that particular department.
"In my area, in the area I work in, the mechanics area, the maintenance part, I am," Brantley said.
Two weeks ago, he came in to find the most disturbing thing. It was a man made of black wire hung by a noose and to top it off, there was a note.
"Little note is saying, 'you don't think we hang people here,'" Brantley said.
Brantley reported it and that co-worker got fired but things only got worse.
"Everybody's hostile now, nobody's speaking to me, everybody speaks to me, everyday, everybody, nobody's speaking to me anymore, I go in the break room, everybody leaves out," Brantley said.
Brantley said the co-workers friends have gone after him.
"They had a picture of me sitting there sleeping on my break, I'm on my break, but they said that I wasn't, they couldn't prove I was on my break or not," Brantley said.
He got suspended for three daysand when he came back things got ugly.
"The guy comes up to me, he tells me, he says, you're acting like a n*****, I said, no, you're acting like a n*****," Brantley said.
Brantley was told to document the incident and he did. But then he was brought up to security and told Bozzuto's has a zero-tolerance policy for racial words and he had used the "n" word.
So, Brantley was fired.
"I'm fired, I'm without a job and I'm without a job because it was not stopped in the first place, it shouldn't have never even happened," Brantley said. "If there's an African-American in the workplace or wherever, you don't hang a little black steel man on a noose for me to see it," Brantley said.