A Kentucky auto dealership group said it fired one of its employees this week after he was seen on video participating in hanging an effigy of Gov. Andy Beshear.
The employee, Terry Bush, is president of a group that calls itself the Kentucky Three Percenters.
"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," the dealership group 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."
The statement did not identify the employee or say what his job was. The group's website lists seven franchised dealerships in Kentucky, including three in the state capital of Frankfort.
Bush's wife confirmed his termination to the Louisville Courier Journal.
"Neil Huffman let outside influences cause a man who had never been late, always professional and had been an outstanding employee be fired for no good cause," Patsy Bush said. "They fired him for exercising his right to free speech where no laws were broken, no one was terrorized, no one was threatened, and Neil Huffman was never mentioned or involved in any way."
The protest took place May 23 outside the Kentucky Capitol, where more than 100 people gathered in opposition to the Democratic governor's stay-at-home orders during the COVID-19 pandemic. Beshear responded to the effigy, saying, "I will not be afraid. I will not be bullied. And I will not back down."