Chicago (CBS) — A Halloween decoration in bad taste or a racist prank? A mannequin hung from a tree in south suburban Lansing sparked outrage online, but police said there was no apparent ill intent.
The mannequin was hung by its neck from a tree, arms bound behind its back, legs bound at the ankles. The head appeared to be covered in a black bag or hood.
Lansing police confirmed they investigated the incident and determined it was a Halloween decoration. They said neighbors confirmed the mannequin was wearing a mask at one point before the picture was taken, but the mask was stolen.
The woman who took the photo, who asked to remain anonymous, told CBS 2, “For me it was very hurtful, very offensive.”
Police said it was confirmed there was “no ill intent” behind the display, and the mannequin has been taken down. They said no charges would be filed, but many people who saw the photo on Facebook said it is a clear hate crime, an imitation of lynchings of African Americans.
The photo has been shared on Facebook nearly 15,000 times, and has more than 3,000 comments.
One commenter said the woman who put it up said the mannequin had a “Jason” mask, an apparent reference to the iconic hockey mask worn by the killer from the “Friday the 13th” film series.
Many commenters expressed skepticism the display had anything to do with Halloween, considering the holiday is more than a month away.