The mayor of Frederick, Md., says a controversial Halloween display featuring three faceless dummies hanging from a willow tree will remain at a city park, despite complaints from the NAACP.
Guy Djoken, president of Frederick County's NAACP chapter, has called on Mayor Jeff Holtzinger to order parks officials to remove the display, which he calls "disturbing."
"Something should be done right away," Djoken told FoxNews.com. "When you look from a distance, it doesn't look good. We should just remove it."
But Holtzinger disagrees and dismissed the roughly two dozen complaints the NAACP received as part of an "attempt to get publicity" for the organization and to "justify" its existence. The display won't be taken down any sooner than scheduled, he said.
The dummies, clad in jeans and stuffed shirts, hang in Baker Park from ropes affixed to their torsos up to 30 feet in the air — creating a sight that some say reminds them of lynchings while others describe it as a harmless holiday display.
"Certainly these weren't meant to offend anybody," Holtzinger said. "But at the same time, if you look at these things, they're not realistic, they're not tied by a noose. So I don't think they're anything other than a typical Halloween display you can see at any number of places."
Holtzinger said the complaints were evidence of "political correctness getting out of hand," though he acknowledged receiving "some calls" from concerned parents of children at a nearby school, and he said parks officials will rethink their display next year.
"We're getting to the point where you can't say Merry Christmas anymore," he said. "Anybody who looks at these things and applies some common sense to it, I have a hard time seeing people saying it's something bad."
But Djoken said, "When you have people hanging in the trees, especially that high, the result is that it's making a lot of people feel uncomfortable. ... I've been getting a lot of phone calls from people who say it's disturbing."
He said whoever was responsible for planning and constructing the display should be given sensitivity training.
While resident Reid Fiester told the Frederick News Post the dummies reminded him of "lynchings," another resident told FoxNews.com he saw nothing wrong with the holiday display.
Bryan Jachowski said he noticed the dummies while walking through the park with his wife Thursday.
"It just looks like somebody was having some Halloween fun," he said. "I have no problem with it whatsoever."
Jachowski noted that the dummies gave "absolutely no indication" of gender or race.
"They're just bodies stuck up in a tree," he said. "They were hung from the waist, not with hangman's noose or anything like that. It's just Halloween fun."
Djoken disagreed, saying he expected Holtzinger to "do the right thing" and immediately remove the decorations.
"If nothing's done, I'll have to press on," he said. "I'm telling you, when you look at it, it looks like someone is hanging from the tree. It's pretty graphic."