Halloween decoration or racist display?

October 19, 2011 2:34:07 PM PDT
A Halloween decoration meant as a prank has divided a community.

Some say a dummy that was hanging from a tree outside a Brooklyn home is racist.

They say it's not a joke but an offensive reminder of lynching.

Late Wednesday, police cut it down and then stuffed it into the back of a police van.

It happened not a moment too soon because instead of getting people in the Halloween spirit it's sparked heated debates.

The scarecrow has been hanging from a tree on East 5th Street for several days.

Some residents say it's just part of the decorations.

"It's a little off color, I wouldn't put it on my tree," a resident said.

But Councilman Charles Barron says it's not appropriate at all.

He says he's heard complaints from residents who believe its offensive.

The homeowner who put it up in the first place wasn't home Wednesday afternoon, but residents who know him defended him.

"They are honestly not doing it to harm anybody," a neighbor said.

In the end, police disagreed and the scarecrow came down.