Halloween costume controversy: Lake County Sheriff removes post after comments about KKK
LAKE COUNTY, Ohio (WOIO) - A pair of Halloween costumes worn by horses of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Mounted Unit are causing a stir in the community.
The sheriff’s office said the two horses were dressed as ghosts, and 19 News reviewed photos showing them wear white sheets with holes for their eyes, ears and mouths.
Lake County Sheriff Frank Leonbruno said a department Facebook post of the horses was taken down due to comments likening their costumes to attire of the Klu Klux Klan.
“There was never any intention to be insensitive to the negative perception some people took in the image of ghost horses, and we apologize if any person was upset,” Leonbruno said in a statement.
Black Lives Matter Lake County took to social media the day after Halloween with a post including the two images above and a third showing two apparent members of the KKK on horses.
In the photo, the Klansmen are wearing white robes and hoods. The horses are cloaked in white sheets.
The sheriff also provided 19 News with this photo showing one horse after sunset. Its orange beads are aglow, and similar to a purple set worn by the second horse.
According to Leonbruno, some have reacted by hurling threats in the days since Halloween.
The full statement from Leonbruno can be read below.
“There was never any intention to be insensitive to the negative perception some people took in the image of ghost horses, and we apologize if any person was upset.
Monday night was Halloween and we had our mounted unit out interacting with our residents, especially the children trick-or-treating. If you look closely at the daylight photos of the ghost horses you will see Halloween lights on the outside and underneath the white blankets. When they were lit up at night you could see they were all about Halloween and intended to be ghost horses walking the down the street with the trick-or-treators.
Monday night when the pictures of the ghost horses were put on Facebook there was an overwhelming positive reaction from residents. However, a few negative comments were posted saying the horses were dressed as KKK. Since this was never our intention we took down the posting within 2 hours so such misperceptions would not continue.
Note, if you scan the internet on ghost horses at Halloween you will find many similar pictures and costumes sold to make horses appear as ghosts. But again, there was no intention to be insensitive to people and their misperceptions of what the horses represented, and for this we apologize.”
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