Per Facebook, the protest was a Patriot Day Rally to exercise Second Amendment rights. Gerry Seavo James, a freelance journalist who was on the scene to document the rally, told CNN that toward the end of the gathering someone arrived in a pickup truck. The effigy of Beshear was then pulled out of a bag and hung from a tree.
Around the dummy's neck was a sign that read "sic semper tyrannis." This Latin phrase translates to "thus always to tyrants" and is attributed to Brutus, one of Julius Caesar's assassins. It was also shouted by John Wilkes Booth before he shot President Abraham Lincoln.
"It's a very chilling image to see in modern America. And especially as an African American man," James said.
James stated that after the effigy went up, an angry man decided to cut it down. "There's a gentleman that came up. He was pretty upset about it, and he cut it down," James continued. "And he was like, this has no place at this rally. We're trying to be peaceful."
Both state Democrats and Republicans condemned the actions. Beshear's Communications Director, Crystal Staley, sent an email to CNN on Sunday explaining that Kentuckians should use their votes to make a difference and not resort to hate.
"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," Staley said. "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."
Republican senator Mitch McConnell and the state's Republican Party echoed Staley's sentiments.
"As a strong defender of the First Amendment, I believe Americans have the right to peacefully protest," McConnell said. "However, today’s action toward Governor Beshear is unacceptable. There is no place for hate in Kentucky."