Nearly 2 dozen complaints filed against Molson Coors for discrimination

NOW: Nearly 2 dozen complaints filed against Molson Coors for discrimination

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- It’s been a week since the tragic incident at Molson Coors where a shooter took the lives of five people and then his own. Some blame the shooting on alleged discrimination at the company, but Milwaukee police say "so far," neither race or racism is a factor. 

Tuesday night, Mar. 3, an official from Molson Coors addressed rumors that have been seen on social media, but still wouldn’t say if that motivated the shooting.

“There was an incident that’s been discussed about a noose that was found in a locker. Which is abhorrent,” said Adam Collins, a chief communications officer for Molson Coors.

An official from Molson Coors confirmed a noose was found in the accused gunman’s locker five years ago.

“Five years ago or not, it is absolutely unacceptable,” said Collins.

CBS 58 obtained copies of discrimination complaints filed with the State’s Department of Workforce Development Equal Rights Division. There were 21 complaints made against Molson Coors over six years.

Workers claimed they were treated unfairly because of their age, race, sex, and disability.

Of the 21 complaints we received, none were filed by the shooter.

"Obviously concerns have been raised, and I think Molson Coors has an obligation and it recognizes that it has an obligation to make sure that it’s workplace is one that is respectful,” said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. “And obviously I encourage that very strongly."

Mayor Barrett said at a very basic human level we should all be respectful of each other.

State Senator Lena Taylor said she’s also heard the rumors but says it’s important that as workplaces change and become more diverse that the culture also changes.

“We have to make that a welcoming conversation,” said Senator Taylor. "It may not be comfortable, but we have to be open to hear and receive our differences and actually our diversity is our strength."

Wednesday, Mar. 4, Milwaukee police released the following statement on the shooting:

"The Milwaukee Police Department is aware of various claims regarding the motive of the suspect involved in the recent Molson Coors shooting incident on February 26, 2020. Various sources have reported that the suspect’s actions were racially motivated and that he was directly impacted by racism while working for the company.

Milwaukee Police detectives have interviewed several witnesses regarding the suspect’s actions and statements leading up to the incident. As a result of the preliminary investigation, neither race nor racism has been identified as a factor in this incident. This investigation remains ongoing.

Based upon the preliminary investigation, the Milwaukee Police Department is not aware of any of the victims targeted in the mass shooting being involved in any inappropriate or racist behavior toward the suspect. Therefore, the narrative of retaliation being the suspect’s motive has not been substantiated.

Additional information regarding this incident will be available once the investigation concludes. Until then, it is imperative to wait for the facts of the investigation to be released rather than speculating and generating a false narrative that could negatively impact the lives of the family members of the victims and of the suspect, as well as the employees of Molson Coors.

We continue to send our prayers to all of the families involved in this tragic incident as they grieve their loved ones."
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