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Obama Effigy Found At U. Kentucky

This story was written by Brad Luttrell, Kentucky Kernel

A likeness of Barack Obama was found hanging from a noose in a campus tree at the University of Kentucky.

UK Police received a report between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. of the Democratic presidential candidates likeness on a tree between Parking Strcuture #2 and the Mining and Mineral Resource Building Wednesday and cut the effigy down, said UK spokeswoman Kathy Johnson.

No suspects have been identified yet, but UK Police are working with federal authorities on the case, Johnson said.

Walking to class, UK student A.J. Mertz said he saw a life-size figure dangling from a tree and thought it was a person. Startled, Mertz didnt want to walk closer but as he moved toward the tree he saw it wasnt real.

The figure wore khaki pants, a blue sports coat, Mertz said. The figure has a mask to resemble a black man, Mertz said, although he could not identify if it was a mask of Obama.

Mertz said he did not want to even take a picture of the effigy because he didnt want anyone to see it who didnt have to.

I was disgusted and hurt someone would deface the university and put something up of this magnitude, he said.

UK President Lee Todd responded to the incident in a broadcast e-mail and through questions with reporters.

In an e-mail to the Kernel, Todd said he felt outraged and hurt by the effigy.

I am outraged because we work very hard, every day, to build bridges across the divides, Todd said in an e-mail to the Kernel.

A similar incident occured two weeks ago, when a man, Mike Lunsford, hung an Obama effigy in his yard in Fairfield, Ohio, about 100 miles north of Lexington.

At George Fox University, a small Christian college near Portland, Ore., an effigy was cut down on Sept. 23.

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