HANCOCK COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - A Facebook post on Sunday described a young girl who received a black doll with a beaded noose around its neck at the Krewe of Nereids parade and a mother furious at a potentially, racially motivated incident.
The Bay St Louis Police Department and the City of Bay St Louis are taking this matter very seriously and are conducting a full investigation, noting they will get to the bottom of it.
Bay St. Louis Mayor Mike Favre said he was in shock when he first learned of the incident. As a community, they do not condone the act as they do not conform to their principles or values, he added.
Waveland Mayor Mike Smith said that this incident should be treated as a hate crime until proven otherwise, elaborating on the actions as being “a heinous act that is deplorable.”
According to the post, the African American daughter was handed the doll by a caucasian man. Smith agreed that he heard two other similar dolls were handed to children in Waveland.
In a statement made by the Krewe of Nereids, they said they were “shocked to hear of the incident of a racially offensive item thrown from one of the truck floats which followed the Nereids’ parade on Sunday.” They emphasized that they do not condone or agree with this behavior, and offensive conduct such as this will not be tolerated or excused now or any time in the future.
Head of the Hancock County National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) said that the state NAACP was contacted to launch an investigation into why and how this racist act took place at a public parade.
“We are thoroughly looking into it," Barabino said. "Right now, the priority is that young lady and her overall well being.”
The post continued to shed light on the incident and the strong-willed stance the girl is going to take.
The Bay St. Louis Police Department is performing an investigation on the matter, and they ask that if you know of any information regarding the incident, call (228)-467-9222.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more details come in.