BRENTWOOD, Calif. (KRON) — Images and videos of a “Sleepy Joe” mannequin hung from a Brentwood home has residents and social media users on edge.
Brentwood police officers responded to the home Thursday morning to investigate the mannequin hanging from a tree.
The man has since taken the effigy down but that has not kept protesters from gathering outside his house on Thursday night.
The mannequin was wearing a black cap covering its face, a long-sleeved shirt, and denim blue jeans. A cardboard sign was displayed across the chest of the mannequin and read “Sleepy Joe (Cheater)”.
Neighbors say this is just the type of attention this man likes to draw. He has been involved in controversy before and neighbors say the handing of the mannequin was just the latest racist thing he has done and they want it to stop.
After consulting with the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office, officials confirmed that this act was not criminal, stating offensive expression is protected under the First Amendment.
Protesters are not only calling this action outrageous but racist.
The man’s neighbors on Craig Court have known him as a Trump supporter who likes to draw attention. Some are fine with him showing his support for the president but the mannequin went too far.
Brentwood police convinced the man to take down the effigy Thursday after people expressed disgust with it on social media.
The homeowner identified as Eric Harvey has created this type of controversy once before. In 2017, he flew a confederate flag outside of his home.
Harvey telling KRON4 News at the time it was patriotic but neighbors say it shows a history of racist behavior.
Police were forced to block some streets near Harvey’s home to keep the neighborhood from being over taken with protestors but it didn’t keep people from letting harvey know what he did is not welcome in this community.
Social media users shared their concerns with the display. A protest is scheduled for Friday in response to the act.
Harvey is right now not facing any charges. The Contra Costa County DA says although the mannequin was offensive, Harvey is protected by the first amendment.
U.S. Secret Service has been made aware of Brentwood PD’s investigation.