A Michigan auto shop's Halloween display that depicted a President Donald Trump scarecrow holding former President Barack Obama’s head by a rope sparked an outcry and claims of racism.
The owner of the auto shop, Quality Coatings, in Fowlerville, about 66 miles northwest of Detroit, has since modified the display and denied any racist intent.
Kathy DeTroyer, who lives near Quality Coatings, drew attention to the display in Facebook posts. DeTroyer told NBC News she first noticed the display Oct. 24.
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"I was driving with my wife and drove past the display and had to turn around to go back and look again because I couldn’t believe what we had seen," she said Tuesday.
Her feelings quickly went from sadness and shame to anger, she said.
The display also showed the Trump scarecrow stepping on the head of a woman resembling Hillary Clinton.
DeTroyer said she took photos of the display and uploaded them to the Facebook pages of the Village of Fowlerville and Quality Coatings.
"How is this ok? I am disgusted this is in my hometown," she wrote in a post on the Village of Fowlerville Facebook page. "Way to display your ignorance. Democrat or Republican this is just wrong. At least I know who not to do business with."
The post drew more than 90 comments and nearly 100 shares as of midday Tuesday.
The Quality Coatings Facebook page has been flooded in recent days with a mix of responses, including some expressing support for the business and others condemning that Halloween display as "racist" and lacking in judgment or decency.
Quality Coatings owner Dave Huff declined an interview when reached by NBC News on Tuesday and said, "My comments are out there." He told the Detroit Free Press he did not anticipate a backlash to the decorations because he is not racist and "no race ever went into this thing."
"It was a Halloween decoration that I guess went too far," he told the newspaper.
The original display showed a Trump scarecrow holding a black rope with an Obama mask attached to it, which led some commenters to say the rope resembled a noose.
Huff told the Detroit Free Press the rope was meant to "represent a spine and a move from the game Mortal Kombat."
DeTroyer said that on Oct. 25, a day after she uploaded photos of the display, a Village of Fowlerville official spoke to Huff and advised him that there had been complaints posted on Facebook. A village official confirmed this account to NBC News.
"He altered the display taking President Obama’s severed head out of President Trump's hand and added a headband that said 'PC Police,'" DeTroyer said.
When she drove by the display Oct. 26, DeTroyer said a sash with a small rainbow flag had been added to the scarecrow, which she interpreted as a not-so-subtle jab at her, because she is gay.
The rainbow flag has since been removed, DeTroyer said.