One of the protesters in Kentucky involved in hanging an effigy of Gov. Andy Beshear was fired from his job, his employer announced, as Beshear condemned the protesters as “evil.”
The unnamed employee at Neil Huffman Auto Group was let go for allegedly being part of the group that bypassed barriers on Sunday to go to the governor’s mansion near the Kentucky State Capitol.
“The Neil Huffman Auto Group does not condone threats of violence in any form, whether they be a call to action or an implied threat,” Shannon Huffman, the company’s human resources manager, said in a statement.
“Following an internal investigation on this matter, the employee was terminated. There is no place for hate or intolerance at any of our dealerships.”
Beshear, a first-term Democrat, said at a press conference Tuesday that he and his wife don’t regret moving their family full-time to the governor’s mansion while describing the protesters as bullies.
“While I thought, and I knew, that kids from time to time would probably be mean to them just because of who their dad was, I did not consider that they might be bullied or heckled by grown adults. And then Sunday happened,” he said.
Protesters assembled on the mansion’s front porch, “a windowpane away” from where Beshear’s children play, and heckled and chanted, the governor recounted. They soon went to a nearby area and hung a dummy with his face on it and the words “sic semper tyrannis” attached to the torso. John Wilkes Booth, who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln, is said to have uttered the phrase, which means “thus always to tyrants.”
Calling what happened “a celebration of assassination on our capitol grounds,” Beshear said the group “is trying to bully everyone else into doing what they want us to do” but vowed not to give into fear, be bullied, or “bow to terror.”
A number of officials condemned what happened, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
“I condemn it wholeheartedly,” Republican Secretary of State Michael Adams said in a statement. “The words of John Wilkes Booth have no place in the Party of Lincoln.”
Kentucky House Democratic leaders said that carrying out the action near where the governor’s family lives “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.”
Protesters have gathered at state capitols across the country to protest harsh restrictions imposed to try to slow the spread of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
Beshear has allowed some businesses to reopen or welcome customers back inside, including retailers and restaurants.
Movie theaters, gyms, campgrounds, and child care facilities are slated to be allowed to reopen next month. Bars are scheduled to remain closed until July 1.