Hanging mannequin causes stir among neighbors

By Ashley Harding, General assignment reporter, aharding@wjxt.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 12:30:14 PM EST
Updated On: Oct 22 2013 08:03:16 PM EDT

Orange Park residents say they're relieved a decoration described as racially offensive has been removed.

ORANGE PARK, Fla. -

A Halloween decoration in an Orange Park front yard caused some stir among neighbors.

It was a mannequin with a mask over its face hanging from a tree.

"That's not something you want to see hanging in somebody's yard," neighbor Shawn Patterson said. "I saw that it was taken down and I was like, 'Yes, somebody must have said something.' Because it doesn't have anything to do with Halloween. It's a reference of something toward slavery."

Neighbors said one of their big concerns was that kids getting off at the bus stop would see it. In fact, neighbors said they had complained to the homeowner's association asking that something be done.

The homeowner said he didn't know neighbors had been concerned until he got a letter saying the decoration was insensitive and had violated the neighborhood bylaws.

The bylaws state, "No owner shall commit on his lot any immoral or illegal activity or anything which may be an annoyance or a noxious or offensive activity to the neighborhood."

One neighbor said she saw no harm in the decoration and said it was all just a big misunderstanding.

"I've known the man for six months now and never once has there been any type of racial innuendo toward anything," she said. "I just feel like people are taking it way out of hand."

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