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Political humor or hate crime: West Hollywood debates Palin decoration

October 27, 2008 |  4:44 pm

Candidate effigies

A West Hollywood Halloween display showing a likeness of Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin hanging by a noose has caused a furor among some residents who reported it as a hate crime, authorities said today.

But Los Angeles sheriff's officials said the mannequin sporting a beehive hairdo , glasses and a red coat and hanging by the neck, does not rise to the level of a hate crime because it was a part of a Halloween display.

"That adds a whole other social, historical hate aspect to the display, and that is embedded in the consciousness of the country," he said. "It would be ill advised of anybody to speculate on that."

Chad-Michael Morisette, who lives in the house, told a local TV news crew that cars and buses have been stopping near his home and that people have been snapping photos of the Halloween display.

The home's decorations also feature a doll of John McCain surrounded by "flames" in the chimney, and other more typical Halloween items, such as skeletons and spider webs.
-- Victoria Kim
Photo: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times