BROOKFIELD -- A Brookfield family is criticizing police after finding a noose hanging from a tree near their home. The Shaws say their concerns are being swept under the rug.
The Shaws first noticed the noose a week ago. Brookfield police have not arrested the person who hung it -- but that's not what the Shaws are upset about. They feel like investigators have dismissed their claim that this is a hate crime. Brookfield police say that's just not the case.
Robert Shaw, Jr. was walking to his parents' home on Bluemound Road when something stopped him in his tracks. Hanging from a tree next to his family's home was a noose. Shaw snapped photos before he and his father called Brookfield police.
"It was unbelievable," said Shaw, Jr. "I was disappointed. I was confused and angry."
Investigators removed the noose that night. But the icon of hate being so close to the Shaw home still brings the family to tears.
"It was very disturbing to receive the call," said Dr. Shaw, Sr.
The noose was hung in a tree that belongs to an Asian family. Brookfield police told the Journal Sentinel a member of that family recently took his own life, and investigators were looking into the possibility the noose was connected. The Shaws and their attorney believe they were the target and that investigators have dismissed their concerns.
"My wife is looking at that tree. My children are looking at that tree," said Dr. Shaw, Sr. "All that matters if it was in front of an Asian home or an African American home."
In a statement to FOX6, Brookfield police said:
"As in any investigation, but particularly one as serious as this, detectives pursue all leads, collect and analyze evidence, gather facts, and are open minded to all potential motives and theories."
The department has assigned a detective to work exclusively on this case, and sent the noose to state crime labs for analysis. The Shaws are not satisfied.
"We feel strongly that this narrative intentionally or unintentionally defied all logic and diminished the severity of the act, which added even more pain to the act itself," said Roy Evans, The Shaws' attorney.
Brookfield police have not released any of the reports they've taken connected to this case because they say it's an ongoing investigation. If you have any information, Brookfield police want to hear from you.
Brookfield police released the following statement in response to the noose incident:
"The City of Brookfield police department continues to investigate this harmful incident and takes the placement of a noose in our community very seriously. The police department has not and will not push a “narrative” regarding who how and why this incident occurred.
As in any investigation, but particularly one as serious as this, detectives pursue all leads, collect and analyze evidence, gather facts, and are open minded to all potential motives and theories.
At this time,
⁃ The investigation is on-going and as such reports will not be released
⁃ A detective is assigned to this case exclusively
⁃ The noose has been forwarded to the state crime lab for analysis
⁃ We have involved crime stoppers
⁃ Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact the City if Brookfield Police Dept at 262-787-3702"