A Missouri state lawmaker is facing mounting pressure to resign after saying activists who desecrate Confederate monuments should be "hung from a tall tree with a long rope."
"This is totally against the law," Rep. Warren Love wrote on social media Wednesday. "I hope they are found & hung from a tall tree with a long rope."
In the now-deleted Facebook post, Love specifically referred to the defacing of a Civil War memorial earlier in August in Springfield National Cemetery in Missouri. But the comment from the Republican member of the state's House of Representatives follows a national conversation about the appropriateness of Confederate monuments after the Charlottesville violence.
Stephen Webber, chairman of the Missouri Democratic Party, condemned Love's "call for lynching."
"This is a call for lynching by a sitting State Representative," Webber wrote on Twitter. "Calls for poltical (sic) violence are unacceptable. He needs to resign."
This is a call for lynching by a sitting State Representative. Calls for poltical violence are unacceptable. He needs to resign. #moleg pic.twitter.com/FZCNmsLLY7— Stephen Webber (@s_webber) August 30, 2017
Democratic House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty told local media in a written statement vandalism was not a crime that warranted "extra-judicial murder."
"In calling for the lynching of those who vandalized a Confederate statue 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," she wrote.
U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch "Representative Love should resign for his unacceptable comments."
Love's remarks also drew ire from his own party, with Rep. Shamed Dogan — Missouri's only black GOP member in the statehouse — saying the sentiment was "way over the line."
"Vandalizing property is wrong, but hoping for people to be hung/lynched over it?? Way over the line!! What is wrong with us #moleg?" Dogan tweeted, using the hashtag of Missouri's state legislature.
Vandalizing property is wrong, but hoping for people to be hung/lynched over it?? Way over the line!! What is wrong with us #moleg? pic.twitter.com/b0ulohvatQ— Shamed Dogan (@Dogan4Rep) August 30, 2017
Love told the Springfield News-Leader he apologized for the post and it was not meant to be taken literally. He added he had no plans to resign over political "cowboyism," according to the newspaper.
"Basically, if I'd had said it in a politically correct way, I would have stated, you know, for that type of an infraction or desecration, I would like to see them prosecuted to the full extent of the law," Love said. "That's what I should have said. But due to my stupid comment, I didn't."
This is the second time in August a Missouri lawmaker has found themselves in hot water after making an incendiary comment on social media.
Earlier, state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal came under fire for saying she hoped President Trump is assassinated.