September 27, 2019
A New Jersey family is under investigation after they put up a display including a dummy hanging from a noose on their front lawn.
The local chapter of the NAACP said the Mannington, Salem County, display, which featured a stuffed dummy with a bag over its head hanging from a wooden gallow, could be considered a hate crime.
“Put a scarecrow up on a bale of hay, we don’t care,” Salem County NAACP President Nelson Carney Jr. told CBS on Thursday. “But if it has a noose around its neck, we don’t care what color. We’re not going to accept it.”
The creator, Ryan McDonald, told CBS it was intended to be part of a larger pirate-themed display and he did not consider it offensive.
EXCLUSIVE: Emotions ran high in Salem Co. this morning, after a mannequin as spotted hanging from a noose in front of a man’s home. He spoke with us on camera tonight & says he can understand why people were offended but it was only meant to be on display for Halloween.@CBSPhilly pic.twitter.com/NbIib7iI09— Kimberly Davis CBS3 (@KimberlyDavisTV) September 26, 2019
Salem County Prosecutor John Lenahan told NJ.com he reported the structure to police, who asked McDonald to remove it from public view.
Lenahan said the prosecutor's office was not considering the incident to be a hate crime at this time.