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Political dummy hanging from tree sparks outrage in Shelbyville

(Photo: Billy Grimes)

A political Halloween decoration has people in Shelbyville outraged. An unknown person hung a dummy from a tree at the corner of 130 and Snell Road. The dummy had a GOP outfit on, a white dunce hat, and a Marsha Blackburn sign hanging from it. Under that, there’s a sign reading “Stop the Hate.”

Billy Grimes has lived in Shelbyville for eight years. He couldn’t believe his eyes when he spotted the dummy eerily swaying in the breeze as he drove across a bridge.

“It was very disturbing to see a human-like object hanging from a tree,” Grimes said, “It’s an intimidating message they’re sending.”

He says what disturbs him even more is how close this is to Liberty Elementary School.

“I didn’t want the children or the school to have to see that type of thing,” Grimes said.

It was the same for Bedford County’s GOP chair Sandy Still.

“My heart, when I saw that, the first thing, there’s a school down that road and we’re showing our kids hatred,” Still said.

The owners of the land don’t live in the area and say they had no idea this was on their land. No one seems to know who’s responsible for hanging it, but Still says it’s not the first time this has happened.

“It happened in the Romney/Ryan election. They had him hanging in the tree covered in red paint and signs on there with slashes through it, that kind of thing. And then Trump, we had the same thing hanging there,” Still said.

She and Grimes say the decoration goes too far and shows the volatile political climate the country is in.

“To me, it says we can’t settle our differences when we’re civil to each other, that we have to put up hateful things to scare and intimidate people,” Still said.

“We need to give each other room and respect other people’s opinion,” Grimes said.

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