A postal worker refused to deliver mail to a Brentwood home with Halloween decorations that included a noose, the homeowner said.
Richard Beatty, who is white, said the letter carrier, who is black, told him earlier this week that the noose was offensive. Beatty said he had removed a skeleton from the noose because of a storm forecast for Wednesday night.
Beatty, 65, called the carrier "a really nice guy" and said he would say hello to him.
The local postmaster, who also is black, came to the house and asked him to remove the noose, Beatty said.
“The postmaster came here and told me he was suspending my mail,” Beatty said. “I told him: ‘Who are you to tell me to take it down?’”
The postmaster did not respond to requests for comment.
Beatty said he had to pick up his mail at the post office Wednesday. Another mail carrier has been delivering his mail since Thursday, he said.
The postmaster visited the home and service was suspended for Wednesday, said Maureen Marion, a Postal Service representative based in Windsor, Connecticut.
Carriers can make the decision not to deliver to a home if they feel their safety is at risk, Marion said.
Carriers also must report their safety concerns to a manager, Marion said in a statement.
"This took place in Brentwood, with follow-up by the postmaster who visited to discuss the suspension with the customer at his residence," Marion said.
In Brentwood, Marion said, the carrier will return to delivering mail to Beatty after the Halloween decorations come down.
Beatty said he and his family have a decadeslong tradition of extensively decorating for Halloween and Christmas. The Halloween decorations, almost all homemade, include crosses, ghosts and tombstones; the noose and skeleton have been decorations for three years, he said.
“I probably go through 500 pieces of candy every year, because kids can’t wait to get here, white kids, black kids, Chinese kids, El Salvadorean kids,” Beatty said.
“People of all colors were hanged; it’s not a prejudice thing, it’s not against any particular race, it’s just supposed to be scary,” he said.