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Beshear: 'I will not be afraid' after protesters hang effigy outside governor's mansion

Asks Kentuckians 'not to bow to terror'
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Posted at 4:14 PM, May 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-26 22:44:56-04

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said he will "not back down" or be "bullied" after protesters hanged a dummy with his face on it outside the governor's mansion on Sunday.

“Let’s start by calling it what it was and what it is: actions aimed at creating fear and terror," Beshear said during his daily coronavirus briefing Tuesday.

At least 100 people gathered for a Second Amendment rally at the state capitol Sunday afternoon, but the event later turned into a protest of the COVID-19 restrictions ordered by Beshear.

Protesters moved from the capitol building to the governor's mansion reportedly chanting, "Come out, Andy." Beshear said armed protesters pushed past barriers to walk up to the home.

“They walked up and stood on the front porch. Just a window pane away from where my kids played, the mob chanted and heckled. Thankfully my kids weren’t there that day," Beshear said.

MORE: Kentucky governor hung in effigy by protesters gathered outside mansion

Beshear said he believes the effigy was meant to send a message to a wider audience than the governor and his family, so he asked all Kentuckians "not to bow to terror, but to continue to do what is right" in order to stop the spread of coronavirus.

“I will not be afraid, I will not be bullied and I will not back down. Not to them, and not to anybody else.”

Beshear said officials will review security protocols at the governor's mansion. No criminal charges have been filed at this time, which Beshear said he would leave to local prosecutors and investigators.

Late Friday, a social media account for a Frankfort car dealership announced Tuesday it had terminated one of its employees for their "alleged involvement" in the rally-turned-protest.

Last day to register to vote

The deadline to register to vote in Kentucky's 2020 primary is Tuesday, May 26.

Sec. of State Michael Adams unveiled a new web portal Friday where Kentuckians can check their voter registration status and request absentee ballots for the primary elections.

There are four ways to vote in Kentucky: in-person on election day, June 23; in-person early voting before June 8; absentee by mail; and absentee ballots returned to your local elections board before election day.

Since the state is "not able" to mail ballots to everyone automatically, Sec. of State Michael Adams said those who want an absentee ballot to either mail back or return to local elections boards can visit GoVoteKy.com.

“It makes it easy to vote, and it makes it hard to cheat,” Adams said.

You can check your voter status and update your information at Elect.Ky.Gov. Both sites are mobile-friendly, Adams said.

The deadline to request a primary absentee ballot is June 15.

MORE: Kentucky gets in line with mail-in voting

Case numbers and testing

Beshear reported 397 new cases of coronavirus over the long weekend, which are "some of the lowest numbers we’ve seen, and holding there each day."

The state also reported three new virus-related deaths, and there have been 394 virus-related deaths among 8,951 total positive COVID-19 cases statewide. NKY Health reports that 1,150 people have contracted COVID-19 in Boone, Campbell, Grant and Kenton counties so far, including 57 people who have reportedly died of the virus.

More than 3,000 people have recovered from coronavirus, and more than 193,000 people have been tested so far.

A free drive-thru COVID-19 testing site will remain open in Erlanger at 25 Atlantic Ave this week. You can call 1-800-737-7900 to schedule an appointment.

For a complete list of coronavirus testing sites in Kentucky, click here.

What's reopening in Kentucky this week?

Kentucky allowed barbers, hair salons, cosmetologists, nail salons, acupuncturists, massage therapists, tanning salons and tattoo parlors to reopen Monday.

On Wednesday, health care providers that perform inpatient surgeries and other procedures will no longer be required to limit themselves to 50% of pre-shutdown volume. Instead, each facility will determine the number of patients it can safely treat.

Restaurants across Kentucky reopened Friday at 33% dine-in capacity plus outdoor seating Friday. Restaurants have been instructed to limit parties to 10 or fewer guests, and to separate tables by at least six feet. Employees will be required to wear masks while interacting with customers.

Restaurants must also create mask policies for customers, which may include refusing to serve guests who aren't wearing a face mask while away from their table or around others. For more guidelines for restaurants and customers, click here.

Beshear said bars will remain closed until July because it's harder to regulate social distancing inside bars than in restaurants, but bars can still operate as restaurants by offering food service at tables outside.

Additionally, the governor's restrictions on interstate travel expired last week.

See WCPO's timeline for the full list of event reopenings in Kentucky and around the Tri-State.

TIMELINE: Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana reopening plans

Watch a replay of Tuesday's briefing in the player below: