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Man: Obama effigy not meant to offend

Oct. 24, 2012 at 7:55 PM

MORENO VALLEY, Calif., Oct. 24 (UPI) -- A California man questioned by the Secret Service after hanging an effigy of President Obama at his home said the incident was a misunderstanding.

Eddie Million of Moreno Valley said he purchased the President Barack Obama mask at a clearance sale last Halloween and this year decided to put it on a human-like figure suspended from a noose as part of his seasonal decorations, The (Riverside) Press-Enterprise reported Wednesday.

Million said he was questioned by a pair of Secret Service agents Tuesday.

"This is just a misunderstanding. This is getting all blown out of proportion. It's down. It's gone. We didn't want to hurt the president," he said after speaking with the agents. "It was just for a party."

Million said the hanging Obama was meant to be an innocent Halloween decoration.

"Something spooky," he said. "A noose is scary. It's Halloween. We have zombies in the back -- figures, ghosts, zombies."

He said he realized the decoration could be seen as controversial after being visited by police Monday.

"I started thinking how bad it looked, and I took it down immediately," Million said. "If I had it to do 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."

"They said that [incident] could have been construed as a threat to the president," Million said of the police and Secret Service. "They said my name is going to be on file. They said they're just going to make a note."

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