Nicole Fairconeture was with her family at the annual Krewe of Nereids parade along U.S. 90 in Bay St. Louis and Waveland.
They were standing in front of B&J Pit Stop, her uncle’s oil change and car detailing business when a man on a black and gold New Orleans Saints-themed float called her 12-year-old daughter to the side of the float to give her a doll.
Fairconeture said, “She grabbed the item, put it to her chest, and was coming back (from U.S. 90 to the business) and he called her back. When she turned around, he said, ‘That’s you.’”
The black doll “was dressed like a slave,” Fairconeture said. She quickly flagged down Bay police and gave it to officers. She stated that her uncle filed a police report.
Fairconeture said her daughter was really upset by the incident, “She’s just very disturbed by it, that he pointed her out in the crowd to give her what to her was an insult. Her peers had to see it, my family had to deal with that. ... It’s really disturbing.”
Waveland Mayor Mike Smith told the Sun Herald, “When I seen that it had happened, it infuriated me. The Waveland Police Department will certainly do whatever it can to aid Bay St. Louis (police) in trying to get to bottom of it.”
Smith stated that Waveland Police Chief Mike Prendergast had spoken to the mother on Sunday. He added that the investigation was in Bay police’s jurisdiction, and would be handled by the Bay St. Louis police department.
The float was one of three floats in the parade that had the New Orleans Saints decoration, but they were not connected to each other.
“We’re steady getting messages and leads as to what truck (and float) it is so we can get to the bottom of it,” Smith said.
Fairconeture revealed that her daughter had been bullied before, but it was never “something targeted (at her) as racist.”
The family maintains that they will not let this affect their traditional Mardi Gras celebrations.
Fairconeture said, “It’s a family tradition. We don’t want that to go away.”
The Krewe of Nereids has also launched its own investigation into the matter.
The captain of one of the Saints-themed floats in the parade stated that they were cooperating with Nereids and law enforcement.
Lisa Moran, captain of the Krewe of Party Time Anytime, stated that she spoke with a spokesperson of Krewe of Nereids and Prendergast to cooperate with the investigation.