Updated: Racist statue hung from window of Dartmouth Leon's

Jacob Boon
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According to a corporate release, a bronze statue of a figure, with black veneer and eyes and mouth coloured white, was hung from an office window at Leon's store on Akerley Blvd.

The company became aware of the incident on August 16, and conducted an investigation, which resulted in two employees being fired this past Wednesday, Aug. 21.

The incident was revealed by a former Leon’s employee, who has lodged a complaint of racial discrimination with the provincial Human Rights Commission.

According to the CBC, Elsworth Bottomsley told the commission he quit after the statue lynching, which followed several other racially motivated incidents over the previous two years.

Another Leon’s employee who is also alleging racial discrimination by the furniture store is seeking to introduce the statue lynching as evidence in her case.

Garnette Cromwell resigned after a manager referred to her employee evaluation as a “lynching.”

One assistant manager confirmed the lynching comment, but stated it wasn’t intended to be racist.

The CBC reports lawyers for Leon’s opposed the application Wednesday, saying the lynching incident happened well after Cromwell’s resignation in 2008, and isn’t relevant.

Leon's press release says that the comapny has provided its associates with third party professional sensitivity and diversity training in the wake of this latest incident of racial intolerance.

It also apologized for this latest incident involving the hung statue, saying that it finds the stunt “offensive and acknowledges that such actions cannot be tolerated.”

“Our company was founded by an immigrant to this country and we respect individuals from all races, creeds and origins,” the release reads.

–With files from Metro Halifax

Organizations: Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission

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Recent comments

  • sillk007
    September 07, 2013 - 13:01

    This is not the first time Leon's has allowed unacceptable behavior of racism. If it wasn't for the media we would never have heard about this incident. Its unfortunate but for some reason Leon's behavior is indeed a reflection of the mindset of the majority in this province. If the comments on this page is truly how we white folk think about other races we are in big trouble. I shopped at Leon's before and I can assure you I am not going back there. apology or not.

  • Hugh
    September 05, 2013 - 17:03

    This is second time today when I thought the news on CBC was the satirical program This is That. SMU students shouting a pro sexual assault chant and hanging a black figurine in effigy a new low has been reached.

  • Terry
    September 05, 2013 - 12:52

    Tom: A Black figurine with a noose around it's neck and swinging from a doorway. This is "taken out of context"? Are you stupid...or just joking...or both? Crack a history book sometime...or go on-line and google "lynching" to get educated.

  • Rosetta
    September 05, 2013 - 10:07

    I love leon's and i agree with Tom! Something taken out of context and blown up for spotlight, doesnt change my views on Leon's at all

  • Gord Cromwell
    September 05, 2013 - 09:10

    I have been in that store twice and both time I watch a White supervisor treat a black employee like he was a slave! This store should be boycotted and put out of business. The company has allowed its staff to do this and wasn't until it was going to cost them money did they come out against it.

  • natalie
    September 04, 2013 - 15:04

    Lynching ...really how else was it suppose to be taken !!What are we in the dark ages come on People smarten up!People are People no matter what race,creed or origins, and I am pretty damn sure if these so people who made this comment has not looked in their family tree cause one never knows what there are hidden there!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Harvey Jones
    September 04, 2013 - 14:27

    I've been to that Leon's store in Dartmouth a few times and have never heard anything like that. The sales people were all very professional and friendly. Everyone I saw got along just fine.

    • Tom
      September 05, 2013 - 05:11

      sounds like yet again something being takin out of context, & somebody looking to make a quick dollar off the situation