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LANSING, Michigan (WILX) – From the moment it went up, one decoration in Jim Sible’s Halloween display has caused quite a stir.
Hanging in front of his Lansing, Michigan home amid the expected orange lights and jack-o-lanterns is a figure with a noose around its neck.
It’s a symbol stirring both surprised and confused reactions from those living nearby, including Tony Bibbs who is a pastor at the New Life Victory Center Church across the street from Sible’s home.
“My initial reaction was disbelief,” Bibbs said. “I couldn’t believe that someone would actually do that in a day in which we live.”
Sible attests he doesn’t see the issue.
“I have friends all along the street and at the end of the block and they’ve all thought it was very cool,” Sible said.
“It’s not a black or white statue, it’s a Halloween statue.”
Sible’s friend Michael Matthews doesn’t see an issue either and actually helped Sible hang up the figure.
“I helped him hang it and I’d hang another for him,” Matthews said.
City officials from the Department of Community Relations and Human Services along with several police officers have all come out to Sible’s home trying to get him to take the figure down.
Joan Jackson Johnson, director of the Department of Community Relations and Humans Services abruptly cancelled an interview to discuss the matter.
Calls were also made to both the police chief and Mayor Bernero’s office but were not returned.
Meanwhile Bibbs said he’s disappointed in the decoration and hopes it gets taken down soon.
“It’s unfortunate that in the times in which we live people choose to use these types of expression to remind us of where we hoped we had moved on from,” he said.
Whether it stays hanging or not though, Sible said the city’s actions in trying to force him to take it down have caused enough damage.
“It’s gotten to the point where I have cars riding by here threatening me,” he said. “They have made me look like a terrible person.”
Sible said he has no plans to remove the decoration from the front of his home.