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Is effigy of Kentucky governor freedom of speech or crime? Legal expert weighs in

During a Patriot Day and 2nd Amendment rally, Governor Andy Beshear was hanged in effigy from a tree on Capitol grounds.

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Multiple groups of protesters participated in rallies in Frankfort during the Memorial Day weekend. 

Protesters claimed Governor Andy Beshear denied them their constitutional rights, some called on the governor to reopen the state and others said they want better conditions for those incarcerated in the state.

A moment captured during Sunday's Patriot Day and 2nd Amendment rally  has garnered national attention.

An effigy of the governor was hanged from a tree on Capitol grounds and quickly went viral on social media.

Many in and outside of Kentucky called for those responsible to face charges.

RELATED: Governor Beshear hung from tree in effigy on Kentucky Capitol grounds

Crime or free speech?

WHAS11's Kristin Goodwillie talked to a professor and legal expert with University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law to find out if a crime was committed by hanging an effigy of the governor or if the act is a freedom of speech?

"The government would have to show that it was intended as a threat. Not just that it was perceived as a threat by other people," professor Sam Marcosson says. 

Marcosson says it would have to be either a threat situation or incitement situation to be considered a crime.

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