VIA FREDERICK NEWS-POST:
Three dummies hang from a willow tree in Baker Park as part of the City of Frederick Parks and Recreation Department’s Halloween program.
Guy Djoken, president of the local NAACP, said from a distance the dummies look like dead bodies.
He is trying to get the city to remove them.
“A dead man hanging in a tree, that takes us back to a dark day we don’t want to go back to,” Djoken said Thursday. “Whoever did this needs some sensitivity training.”
More than a dozen residents complained about it, he said.
A rope attached to torsos holds the dummies high above the walkway next to Carroll Creek near College Avenue.
Their overstuffed shirts, blue jeans and white, faceless heads caught the eye of a passer-by Thursday. “The ropes are pretty high,” Frederick resident Bryan Jachowski marveled. “That looks 30 feet up,” he said.
Jachowski said the first thought that came to his mind was somebody’s having a good Halloween.
But that is not what Frederick resident Reid Fiester thought when he saw the dummies while walking his daughter to school Wednesday.
“It instantly reminded me of the pictures of the lynchings that happened in the ’20s and ’30s in the United States,” he said. “I found it very offensive as a white person.”
He said he thinks it could be extremely hurtful to older African-Americans here.
Mayor Jeff Holtzinger said he went to Baker Park to look at the dummies after someone complained they were inappropriate for children.
“I could say I don’t know I disagree with that,” Holtzinger said. “With respect to children walking the parkway, I don’t see why we can’t reposition them (the dummies) in the park.”
He said he will talk to parks and recreation staff.
“This was done as part of the Halloween walk through the park,” Holtzinger said. “They didn’t mean to scare anybody or upset schoolchildren.”