Halloween display sparks controversy in southwest Miami-Dade neighborhood

Family says they won't remove controversial Halloween display

By Michael Seiden - Reporter

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. - A southwest Miami-Dade neighborhood is divided over a controversial Halloween display showing two stuffed dolls hanging from a tree by nooses.

"I was very shocked and very disappointed," Caroline Estime said.

One doll is dressed in a Miami Marlins jersey and the other is wearing a plain shirt and jeans.

"Just seeing those figures hanging from a noose. I mean, everyone knows that it just brings back memories from such a dark past in our nation’s history," Estime said.

Estime, who is Haitian-American, said she first noticed the decorations in the Three Lakes development in Kendall Wednesday afternoon and immediately confronted one of the people behind them.

"I talked to him, and he said, 'What's the big deal? It's Halloween,'" she said.

After walking past a sign on the front lawn that said, "Please don't be ignorant. It's Halloween," Local 10 News reporter Michael Seiden walked up to the home and tried to get some answers from the family that put up the decorations.

"You're just trying to be festive? There's nothing racist (about it)?" Seiden asked.

"This is a movie and over there is another movie. So excuse me, be smart," a woman who lives at the home said.

Family members never told Seiden the name of the movie their decorations referred to, but they did make it clear that they aren't racists, which some neighbors agreed with.

"They thought about it. They stuck it up. I think it is funny," Sinead Imbaro said.

The family eventually called security and forced Seiden to leave the neighborhood before he could speak with more neighbors.

Caroline Estime said she's also unhappy with the way management has handled the situation. Just days before she saw her neighbor's display, the southwest Miami-Dade mother claims that the same management company asked her to remove a sign with the name of her church.

"I was told that I had to take down my Christ Fellowship because it was inappropriate," she said. "I think this is unfair because they should've deemed this Halloween display inappropriate as well."

Local 10 News reached out to the management company, but has not yet heard back.

The family said it has no plans to remove the display.

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