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Gov. Beshear hung in effigy as 2nd Amendment supporters rally at Ky. Capitol

Photo: WKYT/Hillary Thornton
Photo: WKYT/Hillary Thornton(WKYT)
Published: May. 24, 2020 at 7:47 PM EDT
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Kentucky elected officials from both sides of the aisle are condemning protesters' hanging of Gov. Andy Beshear in effigy on the capitol grounds Sunday afternoon.

A reporter from the

tweeted a photo of the effigy, hung from a tree along with the words "Sic semper tyrannis" - a Latin phrase, meaning "Thus always to tyrants," widely believed to have been yelled by John Wilkes Booth after assassinating President Abraham Lincoln in 1865.

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The rally was held "to educate and inspire everyone today to be more like the original American Patriots who would not stand for their God given right to protect themselves and their loved ones to be taken away by tyrants," according to the event description.

The Courier-Journal reports that protesters also gathered right outside the governor's mansion and chanted "Come out, Andy."

"Hanging Governor Beshear in effigy is beyond reprehensible," House Democratic Leader Joni Jenkins, House Democratic Caucus Chair Derrick Graham and House Democratic Whip Angie Hatton said in a statement Sunday evening, "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.

"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 continues. "We call on all elected officials to condemn these actions and pledge to work to eliminate dangerous hateful speech."

“The actions of the individuals at the capitol today were completely reprehensible," Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, said in a statement. "I disagree with Governor Andy Beshear on many issues. However, this is not the way to disagree on policy or personalities. The General Assembly will continue to work on behalf of Kentuckians, to guide us through this difficult era, but in no way will we endorse this type of conduct.”

"I am outraged that a group hung an effigy of Governor Beshear today at the Capitol and the House Majority Caucus condemns this act of hatred," House Speaker David Osborne, R-Prospect, said in a statement. "The party of Lincoln will not condone this. There is no place in a civil society for it, nor is there any good to be accomplished from it.

"This weekend we honor those who died defending our right to speak freely," the statement continues. "Today's actions are an insult to their sacrifice and the kind of incendiary action that can only cause harm."

Crystal Staley, a spokesperson for the governor, released a statement Sunday night, saying:

“The act that was displayed on Capitol grounds today, near where the Governor and his young children live, was wrong and offensive. 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."

Keep scrolling for more reactions and responses from leaders, elected officials and others: