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Halloween Party Picture With Racial Overtones Causes Stir In South Jersey

DEPTFORD, N.J. (CBS) --  There's a furor in South Jersey over a Facebook posting following a Halloween party at a popular Gloucester County restaurant this week.

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The posting depicts two people Wednesday evening at the Adelphia Restaurant in Deptford. One, a customer, is dressed as a farmer with a noose in his hand. The other, identified as the restaurant owner, is shown with his head in the noose. The unidentified customer won a costume contest conducted as part of the party.

Reaction to the photo on Facebook has been decidedly negative. Among those speaking out is Loretta Winters, head of the Gloucester County NAACP.

"I'm not saying anyone was a racist, but obviously the owner and the staff members there are so insensitive to the issue that they don't realize what they did," Winters told KYW Newsradio. "Would they allow someone to come in with swastikas?"

Attorney Joseph P. Grimes represents Adelphia and suggests people are overreacting.

"There's nothing in the context of the photo that is in any way racist," Grimes said. "But that said, because of the reaction to it and some of the negative comments that have been posted, they just simply decided to take it down."

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The restaurant's owner met with the NAACP on Saturday, according to a press release issued by both sides. The release says that Adelphia will "maintain strict vigilance of its online postings to avoid such issues in the future. The NAACP is satisfied that Adelphia genuinely recognizes the stated concerns on behalf of its constituents and both parties agree that no further corrective action is needed."

While the original photograph is gone from Adelphia's Facebook page, screenshots have gone viral and there are now calls to boycott the place. Grimes insists the restaurant staff is diversified and the owner is heavily involved in the community.



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