A Missouri state representative stirred outrage on Wednesday after he apparently called for the vandals of a veteran’s memorial to be "hung from a tall tree."
Rep. Warren Love, R-Osceola, confirmed to Fox News that he shared to Facebook an article from news outlet KY3 which reported that a Confederate statue at the Springfield National Cemetery in Springfield was vandalized with paint.
“This is totally against the law,” his post read. “I hope they are found & hung from a tall tree with a long rope. National Veterans Cemetery in Springfield, Mo.”
Love, who said the situation was blown out of proportion, said that anyone who vandalizes a remembrance statue is a “low life.”
“Anyone, regardless of age, gender or race that would desecrate or vandalize an object of remembrance in a cemetery is a low life that has no respect for memorials that have been placed by loved ones or people that want to honor an individual,” Love said.
The representative added that vandalizing or defacing a statue in Missouri is classified as a misdemeanor, but added, “it is becoming evident by recent acts of vandalism it needs to be increased to some level at the felony level.”
Although the post was deleted, criticism circulated quickly online. Stephen Webber, chairman of the Missouri Democratic Party, called for Love’s resignation on Twitter.
House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that she also believes Love should resign.
“In calling for the lynching of those who vandalized a Confederate statute in Springfield, state Rep. Warren Love invoked a form of political violence used throughout the South to keep African-Americans subjugated for generations following the fall of the Confederacy, and for that he must resign,” Beatty said.
“It was a harsh statement, I shouldn’t have said that,” Love said of his Facebook post. Love referred to the content of his post as an exaggerated “cowboyism.”
Love said he didn’t delete the Facebook post, but thinks one of his children did.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Love was first elected to the House in 2012 and represents a district in a rural western area of the state.