Indiana parade float depicts Clinton in electric chair, creator apologizes

Creator of controversial Aurora parade float apologizes
Published: Oct. 3, 2016 at 9:19 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 17, 2016 at 9:19 PM EDT
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AURORA, IN (FOX19) - A float that was made to be in the Aurora Farmers Fair parade on Saturday is drawing mixed reactions from local residents.

The Trump-Pence float depicts a man dressed up as the Republican presidential nominee sitting next to a woman depicting Hillary Clinton who is sitting in a makeshift electric chair.

Also on the float is a "Grim Reaper" character, a clergyman, and an Easter Island style head statue with a handwritten sign saying "Obama" attached to it.

"That is not nice at all in a parade. They should know better than that," said long time Aurora resident Jennifer Richardson."

There are strong allegations that the men who created the float, Frank Linkmeyer and his brother Bob, did so with nasty intentions.

"That is not nice at all in a parade. They should have known better than that," Jennifer Wright, an Aurora resident, says.

There are strong allegations that the men who created the float, Frank Linkmeyer and his brother Bob, did so with nasty intentions.

"I had no intentions of offending anyone," Linkmeyer said.

Some living in Aurora are offended. Dozens of posts on social media are calling the float racist and sexist. One social media user described it as an "ISIS style beheading of the president by a grim reaper character" and a "mock electrocution of Hillary Clinton by Donald Trump."

When asked if he is sexist or racist, Linkmeyer said "Sexist? I was [dressed as] a woman. Racist? No."

Linkmeyer, who said he is a registered Democrat, said he and his brother have been creating floats for the parade for 40 years. He said they have had some controversial ones, but he's adamant that they are always in good fun.

"It's all about laughter," Linkmeyer said. "Our world needs more laughter."

He said he's sorry if he upset anyone.

"If I had to do it over again, I don't know if I'd have done it the same way," Linkmeyer said.

The Aurora Lions Club had an emergency meeting Monday night to discuss the parade rules and regulations. Members of the club did not give an on camera comment, but said they will be posting a statement on their website.

Linkmeyer said the club did not see his float until the day of the parade.

The parade is called a family friendly event, but some people do not see anything wrong with the subject matter on the floats.

"It's a float in a parade," said Aurora resident and Trump supporter, Jamie Wright. "Five and 6-year-old's are paying attention to candy, lights and sirens. They're not reading into a presidential message," said Wright.

The City of Aurora released the following statement;

"The Aurora Farmers Fair is the pinnacle of our city's year. Every year, a countless number of community members, organizations, schools and families help make our hometown of Aurora and the Aurora Farmers Fair special.

We are disappointed that the actions of a few individuals have taken the focus away from what was otherwise a very successful 108th Aurora Farmers Fair. The Aurora Lions Club is the leading charitable organization in our City. The City of Aurora refuses to believe that this particular float is in anyway a reflection of the Aurora Lions Club or its members.

The City of Aurora has no involvement in selecting float participants. The imagery portrayed by the float is simply not consistent with the values of our citizens or who we want to be as a city.

The City of Aurora will have no further comment in this matter."

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