FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) The man who hung an effigy of President Donald Trump in his yard has taken down the doll.
Instead, Mike Cunningham appears to have laid it on top of an effigy of a shirtless Russian President Vladimir Putin, with a Russian flag stuck in the ground nearby. A viewer sent in a photo of the new display.
In January Cunningham first put an effigy of Trump hanging by a noose in his Oakdale Drive yard.
He told NewsChannel 15 he wanted to make a bold statement in protest of Trump and his policies after what he called a divisive election cycle. Cunningham, a disabled veteran who displayed anti-Trump signs in his windows and outside of his home for a year, said he has never felt more passionate about the political landscape.
The effigy drew criticism from around the city.
Fort Wayne Councilman Geoff Paddock (D-5th), who represents the district where Cunningham lives, said he was “absolutely appalled, disgusted, and angered” by the display within his 5th District. Paddock called the effigy of a hanging Trump “shocking.”
A law professor at Indiana Tech told NewsChannel 15 that the first effigy was protected by Freedom of Speech under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Now, with Trump in The White House and entangled in rumors of Russian ties to his administration, Cunningham has taken his passion to the next level. The display also features a large American flag, upside down in distress.
Paddock released a brief statement to NewsChannel 15 about the updated display:
This display is disrespectful to the President, but more importantly, it is disrespectful to the residents of the Oakdale Neighborhood. Young children walk by this house, and I have heard from their parents. I would again ask the homeowner to show a sense of decency and put the display away.
Cunningham said Wednesday he has no plans to change to the display.