Ghost Costumes on Ohio Sheriff Department’s Horses Likened to the KKK

FILE – In this Sept. 21, 1923 file photo, members of the Ku Klux Klan ride horses during a parade through the streets of Tulsa, Okla. Former Sheriff Bill McCullough, who tried to stop the parade, is at foreground left. John Hartvigsen, a flag scholar, says flags’ power _ to unite or divide _ is only as great as the significance people assign to them. (AP Photo)

On Halloween, the Lake County Sheriff Department (Ohio-the North/Western Route) dressed up the Mounted Unit horses as ghosts for Halloween. Some people thought the horses looked pretty cool with their bright orange pumpkin lights but others found the costumes offensive and compared them to how the KKK would dress up their horses during the domestic terrorist acts of violence.

“Is there nobody on staff that is like, ‘This is not a good idea?’” said Katelynn Gurbach. “A sheriff’s office should be out there protecting people, and if I saw that on my street, I would be terrified.”

“That was a poor execution for a ghost,” said one Lake County resident, who asked not to be identified. “You go back and look at pictures of the Ku Klux Klan, it’s like the exact replica of what the horses looked like.” The sheriff stressed that he does not believe his employees did anything wrong and that the costumes were never meant to offend anyone.

Sheriff Frank Leonbruno said his employees did not mean to offend anyone.

“I’m sorry that perception was there,” Leonbruno said.  “It was never our intention to do that.”

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