- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney is under fire after he pointed the finger at President Trump when a black doll was found hanging last week at a local playground — an apparently racist act that turned out to be a prank by two neighborhood boys.

A black doll was found hanging from a telephone wire with a makeshift noose around its neck at the Weccacoe Playground at 4th and Queen Streets. The mayor issued a statement Thursday calling it a “despicable act” inspired by the president’s “hateful rhetoric.”

“I am sickened by what took place today at Weccacoe Playground,” Mr. Kenney said. “Although the investigation is still underway, I want to immediately condemn this despicable act. It demonstrates how far this country has fallen when people are inspired by the hateful rhetoric of our President. And it is particularly disgraceful to make a sacrilege out of a sacred burial ground, where thousands of African Americans are interred. The City will do everything in its power to bring the people responsible to justice for this disgusting act.”

Rev. Mark Tyler, pastor of Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, later told a local CBS affiliate that two young boys hung the doll as a prank to “creep people out.”

“Some young children came forward and confessed that they actually did it,” he told the station. “Believe it or not, these children were under the age of 13. They were black and they were white and they live here in the neighborhood.”

Now, Mr. Kenney is facing calls to to apologize to the president for jumping to conclusions.

“Mayor Kenney owes the President an apology. In fact, he owes the citizens of Pennsylvania an apology,” Pennsylvania GOP Chairman Val DiGiorgio said in a statement Friday. “Subscribing to the ‘never let the facts get in the way of politics’ theory, Kenney blamed the President for a racially insensitive teenage prank without regard for the truth. It is this kind of pre-judgment that causes such divisiveness in our political discourse today.”

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