Tenants raise concerns over noose-like Halloween decoration

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EAST NEW YORK -

Some tenants of an East New York homeless shelter are expressing concern over a Halloween decoration that they say appears to be a man hanging by a noose.

Building super William Soto hung the display in the building on Atlantic Avenue as part of his annual Halloween decorations. He says he loves to decorate for the holiday and many of the tenants in the building like it, too.

Others, however, say they are upset by the display, citing its offense to African-Americans. Some community members say they want to NYPD Bias Squad to investigate.

“To go back 400 years to know that our brothers and sisters, our ancestors were tracked down like dogs and beat to death and what have you because of the complexion of their skin and hung from trees just like this," said community advocate Tony Herbert.

Soto tells News 12 Brooklyn that 90 percent of the building tenants are African-American.

“I have maybe one or two that are white or of other race, and every client that ever came downstairs loves [the display] 100 percent,” he says.

Officers from the 73rd Precinct have in fact already responded to the display and asked Soto to take it down because it is a potential fire hazard. News 12 is told that the super refused but offered to move it.

News 12 Brooklyn has contacted the NYPD and Council Member Rafael Espinal for a statement but has not yet received a response.

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