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Halloween decoration of a lynched black man spurs controversy

This Wednesday in Lansing, Illinois while the 15-year-old daughter of Toya Griffin was on her way from school, noticed a black mannequin with its hands and ankles tied hanging from a tree near the sidewalk. The young girl was unable to describe what she had just seen and didn’t want to take a photo of it for fear of possible racial targeting from the person who put it up. When she eventually sent her mother a picture, it looked clearly like a black body hanging from a tree.

“The hands were tied behind the back. The feet were tied around the ankles. It’s the same manner as a lynching”, said Griffin, 37-year-old resident of Lansing.

Almost immediately Griffin called the Lansing police department to inform them of what they believed to be a racist depiction of African American lynching. While the officers did come to check out the situation, they didn’t feel it was offensive and brushed it off as a mainstream Halloween decoration.

Griffin’s sister went to place where the decoration was hung and took a video of the interactions between law enforcement officers and the mass of angry neighbours that had garnered the woman’s house.

According to reports, the lady who had put up the decoration refused to remove it and defended herself by saying: “I have friends who are black”.

According to the police officers present there was originally a Jason mask on the figure before somebody stole it, concluding that there was no “ill intent”.

Many, including Griffin herself were applauded by the police response, citing what she believed to be a lack of necessary attention for a racist decoration.


“The Police are supposed to represent the best interests of the community-which consists largely of African-Americans whose ancestors have a history of being lynched. Slavery and racism affect people every day.”

Thornton Fractional High School, which is in close proximity to where the decoration was hung, sent out emails addressing the image as “disturbing” and is proving counselling to its students traumatized by the image.

Griffin claims her daughter, upset by the whole ordeal, will now be taking a different root to school.