State officials and lawmakers in Kentucky are expressing concern about an effigy of Gov. Andy Beshear (D) that was hung by protesters.
On Sunday, protesters held a rally outside of the Kentucky State Capitol building to oppose the governor’s extended stay-at-home orders due to the coronavirus.
The crowd, which included approximately 100 protesters, could be heard chanting “Come out Andy” and “Resign Andy” while others held signs that read, “Abort Beshear from office” and “My rights don’t end where your fear begins,” according to USA Today.
See footage of the protests below:
The effigy, hung to a tree, included a photo of Beshear’s face with a sign that read, “Sic semper tyrannis.” As photos of the effigy began circulating on social media state officials and lawmakers weighed in with their concerns.
Kentucky Secretary of State Michael G. Adams (R), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and the Kentucky House Democratic leaders have all released statements to condemn the act.
“This is disgusting and I condemn it wholeheartedly,” Adams said. “The words of John Wilkes Booth have no place in the Party of Lincoln.”
This is disgusting and I condemn it wholeheartedly. The words of John Wilkes Booth have no place in the Party of Lincoln. https://t.co/mILfSMVEHy— KY Sec. of State Michael G. Adams (@KYSecState) May 24, 2020
McConnell released a statement saying the display was “unacceptable.” The Kentucky lawmaker also said that “there is no place for hate in Kentucky.”
.@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
Kentucky House Democratic leaders also released a collective statement criticizing the “hateful rhetoric” while challenging elected officials.
“Hanging Governor Beshear in effigy is beyond reprehensible, and yet it is also the logical conclusion of the hateful rhetoric we saw touted on the Capitol grounds earlier this month that was implicitly condoned by elected representatives from the legislature’s majority party,” the statement read.
The statement went on to defend Beshear, insisting the hatred only undermines their efforts to combat the pandemic.
“Doing this in front of our Capitol, just a short walk from where the Governor, First Lady, and their two young children live, is an act that reeks of hate and intimidation and does nothing but undermine our leading work to battle this deadly disease and restore our economy safely,” the statement read.
As of Monday morning, there are currently 8,571 confirmed cases of coronavirus. Like the rest of the states, Kentucky has implemented a phased reopening.