Protestors in Kentucky hung an effigy of Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear outside of the state capitol during a demonstration Sunday.
The protest, organized by Take Back Kentucky, was meant to “celebrate freedom and to fight back against the unconstitutional shutdown over the coronavirus,” according to a Facebook post. The around-100 people present began by celebrating the Second Amendment, but the rally eventually turned into a call against coronavirus restrictions.
Protestors marched to the governor’s house shouting “Come out Andy,” according to videos posted on Twitter. They later returned to the state capitol, where “several people” participated in hanging the effigy from a tree, the Courier Journal’s Sarah Ladd reported.
The video: pic.twitter.com/twsNAKscLV
— Sarah Ladd (@ladd_sarah) May 25, 2020
The effigy had a picture of Beshear’s face on it and a message that read “sic temper tyrannies,” a Latin phrase that translates to “thus always to tyrants.” The effigy was taken down shortly afterwards, according to the Courier Journal.
The protestor’s actions caused swift backlash from members of both parties. (RELATED: Kentucky Convenience Store Posts Sign: ‘No Masks Allowed,’ ‘Stop Listening To Beshear. He’s A Dumb***’)
Senate Majority Leader and Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell condemned the effigy in a statement posted on Twitter Sunday evening. McConnell said that while he supports the First Amendment, the actions demonstrated at the protest went too far.
.@SenateMajLdr: “As a strong defender of the First Amendment, I believe Americans have the right to peacefully protest. However, today’s action toward Governor Beshear is unacceptable. There is no place for hate in Kentucky.”
— Senator McConnell Press (@McConnellPress) May 25, 2020
“This is disgusting and I condemn it wholeheartedly. The words of John Wilkes Booth have no place in the Party of Lincoln,” Republican Secretary of State of the Commonwealth of Kentucky Michael G. Adams tweeted.
Many others condemned the protestor’s effigy hanging, the Courier Journal reported.
“On Memorial Day weekend, as we honor those who gave their lives for our country, & think of the small sacrifices we make to protect our community from a pandemic, we must condemn this vile act. When we share science, keep each other healthy & safe, freedom will follow,” Democratic Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer tweeted.
Kentucky House Democrats also issued a lengthy statement against the effigy, calling it “beyond reprehensible.”
— KY House Democrats (@kyhousedems) May 24, 2020