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Police Ask Man To Remove Halloween Display After Neighbor Complained It Was 'Offensive'

Photo Credit: CBS 6

Photo Credit: CBS 6

Note: we are republishing this story ahead of the Halloween holiday to raise awareness about increased scrutiny regarding Halloween costumes and decorations. More and more people are thinking twice about their Halloween displays to be mindful of other people’s sensitivities especially amid a national conversation about racism and racial justice. 

A woman from Chesapeake, Virginia reported to the police of Halloween decorations that she felt were racially offensive, evoking the practice of lynching.

Lori Brunson noticed a figure wrapped in black trash bags swinging from a tree in her neighbor's back yard when she took out the garbage on Friday afternoon.

Brunson said, "I saw something swinging from a tree. I got closer, and it was a replica of a body being hung by a tree limb with a noose around its neck."

Photo Credit: CBS 6

Photo Credit: CBS 6

The neighbor, who asked not to be identified, stated he meant no offense with the decorations.

"They were just black trash bags with paper stuffed in them and clown masks on them. The heads were down for a reason," he said. "No noose tied, just square knots on the bag, heads down, feet up like monsters."

However, from Brunson's view, she couldn't see any masks. She said, "I saw a white string, and a body taped up."

Photo Credit: CBS 6

Photo Credit: CBS 6

The police asked the man to take down the decorations. The man said he would take down the Halloween display on Saturday after the Halloween party that he is planning to host.

"They were facing down because we know this is a predominantly black neighborhood. We didn't want anyone thinking it was going in that direction," the man said.

Brunson said, although the trash bags were indeed Halloween decorations, she finds it offensive.

Brunson stated, "It is not funny, and it hurts. This is 2019. I don't want to go back to slavery; I don't want to explain this is still happening to children."

Photo Credit: CBS 6

Photo Credit: CBS 6

Halloween displays showing victims hanging with a noose in their necks have created controversy over the country because of their connotations of racism.

As of date, the Halloween decorations are no longer hanging from the tree.

Sources: CBS 6

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