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FIRST ON 3: Dummy in tree creates racial tension in Wilmington neighborhood

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- An attempt to scare off unwanted intruders has some Downtown Wilmington residents concerned about racial tensions. A black mannequin hanging by a rope at a property on Marstellar Street near 16th Street offended some neighbors.

Residents say it was on a limb inside the tree, but when it was seen hanging by a rope, it seemed to have racial implications.

"Racial prejudice, it's right here at home," neighbor Sheila Powell said. "A lot of people think it's being hidden, but it's not, and being this close to an African-American neighborhood, I think it speaks for itself."

The man who rents that property says it was never intended to be racist. The mannequin was in the tree as a security measure. He says in the last few days, some kids were seen using it as a punching bag. It's now been removed.

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