MARQUETTE, Mich. (CBS/AP) — Democratic and Republican party leaders in Michigan and Kent State University are condemning online comments from a county-level Republican that appeared to suggest shooting protesters.
Dan Adamini, secretary of the Marquette County GOP, last week tweeted: “Violent protesters who shut down free speech? Time for another Kent State perhaps. One bullet stops a lot of thuggery.”
In a separate Facebook post, Adamini wrote: “I’m thinking that another Kent State might be the only solution … They do it because they know there are no consequences yet.”
In 1970, the Ohio National Guard fatally shot four Kent State students during Vietnam War protests, an incident widely considered a turning point for public opinion against the war.
Adamini said Monday that he was calling for an end to violence after a demonstration last week at the University of California, Berkeley that stopped a speech by right-wing commentator Milo Yiannopoulos. Some protesters broke windows and tossed smoke bombs.
On Sunday, Adamini apologized for his comments in an interview with the Detroit Free Press, saying he supports peace and was merely trying to prevent further violence and hatred.
Adamini added he has received death threats and been harassed by people outraged over his remarks.
Kent State officials called Adamini’s posts “abhorrent,” and released the following statement in response:
“May 4, 1970, was a watershed moment for the country and especially the Kent State University family. We lost four students that day while nine others were wounded and countless others were changed forever. This abhorrent post is in poor taste and trivializes a loss of life that still pains the Kent State community today. We invite the person who wrote this statement to tour our campus and our May 4 Visitors Center, which opened four years ago, to gain perspective on what happened 47 years ago and apply its meaning to the future.”
Michigan Republican Party spokeswoman Sarah Anderson says Adamini was speaking for himself.
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