Police were called around 7:30 a.m. Saturday to what the caller thought was a person on top of a building on George Street, Wallingford Police Lt. Cheryl Bradley said. It turned out, it wasn't a person. It was buckets and other items made to look like a person.
Police contacted the man who owns the land, but he said he didn't know anything about it, Lt. Bradley said. He gave police permission to take it down.
The mannequin was visible from Route 5, so although it was only up for a few hours, Lt. Bradley said, police received several phone calls about it.
The mannequin would be protected by freedom of speech, Lt. Bradley said. So, other than trespassing on the man's land, there is no criminal element to the case.
The Anti-Defamation League released a statement on the display:
“ADL has been studying and tracking the Ku Klux Klan since the beginning of the 20th century. I’m glad to report that our Center on Extremism has found a collapse in Klan membership and no active chapters in the state of Connecticut. However, as we saw this weekend, that does not preclude one disturbed individual, or kids trying to shock the community, whatever the case may be, from using these symbols to scare and intimidate the residents of Wallingford.” Steve Ginsburg, Regional Director of the Connecticut ADL said, adding that the Walllingford Police Department had responded promptly and appropriately. “We commend the Wallingford Police for their swift action in taking down the display. This kind of hateful display has no place in our towns or in our country. We hope that the person or people responsible are identified so they can be educated on the impact and history of this detestable imagery.”