Effigy of Kentucky governor displayed near Capitol

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — An effigy of Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear was hung in a tree near the State Capitol on Sunday during what was billed as a protest rally in defense of constitutional rights, drawing sharp political rebukes, according to local news reports.

Video recordings and photographs show the effigy suspended from a tree in Frankfort with a sign reading “Sic Semper Tyrannis,” the Lexington Herald Leader reported.

Local media reports said dozens of people had gathering during a so-called Patriots Day rally for constitutional rights, including the right to bear arms and self defense.

Among those present were some opposed to the governor’s restrictions meant to blunt the spread of the coronavirus, according to the local news accounts. The reports said some toted guns and waved American flags and other flags with the words “Don’t Tread on Me.”

Beshear’s office had no immediate public response to the display, which drew sharp criticism from politicians in both major parties.

“This is a new low and it is disgusting and wrong,” State Sen. Minority Leader Morgan McGarvey, a Louisville Democrat, said in a statement on social media.

Sen. Whitney Westerfield, R-Hopkinsville, chairman of the chamber’s judiciary committee, also spoke out against the effigy in his own online post.

“This awfulness has no place in civil society,” Westerfield wrote.

Recently, the governor has continued easing restrictions mean to combat the spread of the new coronavirus, including opening Kentucky restaurants as of Friday to in-person dining at 33% capacity. Outside dining is also allowed. And gatherings of 10 or fewer people also were again allowed recently.

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