Neighbors react: ‘We’re all for free speech, but we’re concerned a line has been crossed’. A U.S. Army veteran in Fort Wayne, Indiana, hung a life-sized effigy of President Donald Trump from a noose in the man’s front-yard tree, and cops say they can do nothing about the display that’s raising concern among his neighbors.
The Trump doll is holding the flag of the former Soviet Union.
The home also displays several banners, including one that reads, “Trump is a disgrace to America & makes me ashamed I ever served,” according to a report by Fort Wayne’s WANE-TV 15.
WND contacted the Secret Service to inquire about whether the agency had opened an investigation into the incident.
“We wouldn’t actually comment on whether or not we’re investigating. That would involve some protective intelligence matters,” a spokesman told WND.
As for Secret Service investigations of effigies of U.S. presidents, the spokesman explained, “It depends on how it’s reported, who reports it. Sometimes local law enforcement shows up and gives us a call. It’s just hard to say in general how things like that are conducted. We are typically notified. From that point on, we don’t really get into or discuss our investigative techniques or anything that involves protective intelligence matters.”
According to WANE-TV 15, local authorities say there’s nothing police can do because the homeowner’s display is protected by the man’s right to free speech.
The station said the homeowner refused to speak to reporters.
Neighbor Jared Paden said, “It was kind of shocking. Honestly, I don’t necessarily like it. I’m not really excited about it being in my neighborhood.”
Paden continued, “I don’t think it’s respectful to Trump and a lot of people that voted for him to be president. I don’t think they should do it, but it’s their right. They have the right of free speech. So I’m not going to say they have to take it down, but I wish they would.”
Neighborhood President Tom Tiernon told WAYNE-TV 15 in a statement: “We’re all for free speech, but we are concerned that a line has been crossed and what to do about it next.”
The neighborhood association is reportedly exploring possible actions it may take to have the Trump effigy removed.
Watch the report:
Just last week, a political science teacher in Crestview Hills, Kentucky, hung an effigy of Trump from his home alongside several upside-down U.S. flags. A large banner read: “‘Just Grab ‘Em By The Pu–y’ Your President.”
By contrast, the Secret Service investigated an incident in 2010 when an effigy of President Obama was found hanging above a billboard in Plains, Georgia.
And the Secret Service also paid a visit in 2012 to a California man who hung an Obama effigy from a tree as a Halloween decoration.
The man quickly expressed regret and removed the display.
“I started thinking how bad it looked, and I took it down immediately,” Eddie Million of Moreno Valley told reporters. “If I had to do it all over again, I absolutely wouldn’t have done it. It was not meant to offend anybody. It was just supposed to be a decoration.”
Another man in Aspen, Colorado, got a visit from the Secret Service when he displayed a yard sign that read, “Kill Obama.”
Also in 2014, the agency investigated when an Obama face mask was found hanging from an overpass in Grain Valley, Missouri.
At the time, University of Missouri-Kansas City political science professor Max Skidmore told Kansas City’s WDAF-TV 4: “You’re never going to eliminate hate and you don’t want to eliminate political dissent, ’cause that’s part of the system. Condemning the president, condemning the government is a long and honorable tradition, but threatening is another issue.”