University of Kentucky police are investigating who hung an effigy of Democrat Sen. Barack Obama from a tree on the Lexington campus Wednesday morning.
UK President Lee Todd said that UK police have notified federal authorities of the incident. Todd said a professor saw the effigy on the tree near the Rose Street parking garage across from the Mining and Mineral Resources building this morning and called police. The professor then sent Todd an email notifying him of the incident.
UK police took down the effigy and have it as evidence, Todd said. He called the act "deplorable" and says that type of behavior is not tolerated on UK's campus.
The effigy had a mask of Obama on it and there was a noose around the effigy's neck, Todd said.
Ed Donovan, a spokesman for the Secret Service, confirmed that the federal agency charged with protecting presidents and presidential candidates had been notified and were working with UK police to determine who was responsible.
Donovan said he couldn't go into the specifics of the investigation.
"We take any threat against any of our protectees very, seriously," Donovan said.
Meanwhile, just over the river from Louisville, in Clarksville, IN:
A Clarksville man expressed his opposition to Barack Obama’s presidential candidacy by hanging an inflatable doll made to look like the Democratic nominee from a tree on his front lawn – until his son took it down as reporters gathered at the scene.
“It is not racially motivated,” Kirk Deddo said today as he stood under the tree outside his Potters Lane home. Deddo is white; Obama is the first black to be nominated for president by a major political party.
Gary Leavell, president of the Clark County chapter of the NAACP, said after the scene was described to him, “That’s a direct threat on the life of Obama as far as I’m concerned.”
Leavell said he would ask Clark County Prosecutor Steve Stewart to look into the matter.
Stewart could not be reached for comment. But Jeremy Mull, chief deputy prosecutor, said after making a brief legal search that “it does not appear to be in violation of any Indiana criminal statute.”
But Mull added, “Personally, I find such conduct to be deplorable.”