PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Two pre-teen boys say they pulled a prank by putting a black doll hanging from a noose above a playground that partly sits on top of a burial site for 5,000 black Philadelphia residents.
The doll was discovered Thursday morning and prompted Mayor Jim Kenney to call it "a despicable act."
The boys, one black and one white, told WCAU-TV they put the doll there because they thought it would scare people, and that it wasn't about race.
The city has plans to put up a memorial to those buried beneath the playground.
The 19th century burial ground was established by Richard Allen, a freed slave who founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Its existence had been forgotten until a historian began researching the site about a decade ago.