During a rally trumpeting Second Amendment rights outside the Governor’s Mansion at the state capitol in Frankfort, Kentucky, protesters hanged Gov. Andy Beshear (D) in effigy, earning bipartisan condemnation.
The figure had a sign slung around its neck reading: “Sic Semper Tyrannis,” or “thus always to tyrants.”
Per CNN, a man cut the effigy down from the tree it was tied to, saying that it had “no place” at the rally.
“The act that was displayed on Capitol grounds today, near where the Governor and his young children live, was wrong and offensive,” Beshear’s communication director Crystal Staley told TPM in a statement. “This type of behavior must be condemned. As Kentuckians we should be able to voice our opinions without turning to hate and threats of violence. Put simply – we are and should be better than this.”
The move engendered bipartisan blowback.
Kentucky House Speaker David Osborne (R) expressed his “outrage.”
“I am outraged that a group hung an effigy of Governor Beshear at the Capitol and the House Majority Caucus condemns this act of hatred,” he said in a statement. Pointing to the significance of Memorial Day weekend, he added that “Today’s actions are an insult to their sacrifice and the kind of incendiary action that can only cause harm.”
Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) chimed in Sunday night.
.@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
The Kentucky Senate Minority Leader, a Democrat, expressed his lack of surprise.
This is a new low and it is disgusting and wrong. I wish I were more surprised but this vitriol comes from the top. I hope Republican leaders join me in condemning violent threats against any elected official. https://t.co/BS9WlWzmxN
— Morgan McGarvey (@MorganMcGarvey) May 24, 2020
This post has been updated with a statement from the Governor’s office.