A Halloween decoration in Harnett County, North Carolina is sparking controversy, which led to its removal.
According to WRAL, the display, shared by hundreds of people on Facebook, appears to show a full-dressed man with his hands tied behind his back hanging from a tree outside a home in Coats.
Harnett County’s Sheriff’s Office investigators told the news station the family says it was Halloween decoration meant to look like a farmer. Some residents though say the decoration had racist undertones.
"Maybe we did take it the wrong way," said Harnett County resident Jenni Byrd. "And it did look a certain way that everyone was kind of confused about but I'm glad in the end, that’s not what it was representing."
The family took down the display after they realized it hurt members of the community. DeAngelo McDougald, another resident who spotted the controversial decoration, says he was initially jarred by what he thought he was looking at.
"I just rode past it and it looked so real that I stopped," McDougald said. "If you’re passing by and you just glancing over, you’d be like ‘someone’s hanging from a tree.’"
McDougald posted an image of the display to social media, which upset Byrd because of her own family situation. "My daughter is biracial - she’s Black, White and Indian, and I don’t want her growing up seeing these things," she added.