Train show to change policy following ‘racist’ display

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin -- Organizers of a train show billed as the "world's largest" have promised to make changes following a controversial display.

One display showed a white Wisconsin State Patrol Trooper pointing a gun at three, unarmed, black men who were sitting down.

"It's wrong, that's just wrong," one attendee told WDJT-TV in Milwaukee. "It's insensitive, disrespectful, and racist."

The president of the Lionel Railroad Club of Southeast Wisconsin said if their display offended anyone, it was unintentional.

"It certainly wasn't done on purpose," Dan Hechel told WDJT. "It just happened to be set up that way."

Hechel said the display changes often.

"We move it all around the layout like I say, sometimes we have a make-believe fire. Sometimes there's a make-believe traffic accident," he said.

Not everyone was offended by the display.

"I don't think it's insensitive. It's a display," an attendee identified only as Abby said. "And if they don't like it go to the next."

Organizers told WDJT they would be changing their policy:

"Trainfest prides itself in being a family-friendly event and has never encountered a need in 46 years of staging the event to review the content of the layouts for social or political commentary. That policy will change and we will be implementing stronger reviews of the layouts on display to ensure this never happens again."

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