HUDSON, Ohio — State Rep. Casey Weinstein (D-Hudson) shared a video Sunday afternoon of protesters gathered outside of his Hudson home waving flags and allegedly voicing their support for former president Donald Trump while demanding Weinstein "be better."
Weinstein took to Facebook, posting a live video of a line of trucks and vehicles outside of his home with protesters outside carrying American, "Stand for the flag, kneel for the cross" and Gadsden flags.
As Weinstein, his wife and his young children relaxed at home, a line of 30-35 vehicles pulled into the neighborhood and around his home on both sides around 4 p.m.
"I'm a public official, I'm an elected official. I get that. I also I don't know why they showed up at my home," Weinstein said in an interview with News 5. "I completely support their right to protest. I think a more effective place to do it is at the State House. But what happened yesterday to me and to my children, my young children, crossed from protest to intimidation, and that's how we took it."
The state representative said his children were being waved at by the demonstrators and he removed them from the visible areas of the home.
"This is my family house, this is where my kids are, and they're out here. They've been running, yelling, one of my neighbors walked by and they started recording video of her, telling her that they're Trump supporters and think I should 'be better,' whatever that means," Weinstein said.
Weinstein said that his children were very worried during the incident and that his four-year-old daughter asked if it was safe.
"They were worried. They had a lot of questions. My 4-year-old asked if we would keep her safe if we were sure we could keep her safe, which is like a punch to the gut as a parent," Weinstein said. "They didn't know. They're saying, 'Why are they so angry? Why don't they like you?'"
Since the event, Weinstein still isn't sure what exactly prompted the protest. He has recently voiced his opposition to Ohio's congressional map redistricting plans drawn up by the Ohio Republican Party, which he calls "gerrymandering craftsmanship" and has also shown support for renewable energy efforts, COVID-19 vaccinations and testing, and legalization of marijuana in Ohio.
"They did not convey that to me or [it] didn't come across if there was a particular issue. They mostly got there, took their videos, took their pictures, waved their flags, shouted our way and just kind of made their presence known. And I just truly think the underlying intent was intimidation of me and my family," Weinstein said.
According to the state representative, the protesters were also calling for him to support veterans, which Weinstein called "ironic" because "my wife and I are veterans."
Weinstein said he called the Hudson Police Department to come to the scene and monitor the demonstration and thanked the officers who promptly responded and made sure he and his family were safe.
News 5 has reached out to the Hudson Police Department for comment.
"I promise you this, we're not intimidated," Weinstein said in the video posted Sunday. "We won't be intimidated."
While the exact cause of the protest is unknown, Weinstein believes it may have something to do with the fact that he's Jewish, drawing parallels to the protests held outside of Dr. Amy Acton's Bexley, Ohio home in May 2020.
"It's not happening to my colleagues that I'm aware of. These protests have not happened to any in front of any other representative or senator, at least in the last couple of years that I have been made aware of or that I can find," Weinstein said. "And I don't want to claim antisemitism. I don't know what was in those gentlemen's hearts to show up in front of my home. But I do know that Dr. Acton and I are both Jewish and we're the two that have been targeted. So I do call that out as I think an underlying reason."
The group of protesters dispersed after about 45 minutes following the Hudson Police Department's arrival on scene.
Weinstein has turned over all of the video and information to the Anti-Defamation League, which is looking into the incident to see if there were any hate group connections. He said that Sunday's incident makes him more committed to his community after the support his neighbors and others showed him and his family during the incident.
"When things cross from peaceable, peaceful protest to willful intimidation, folks should know that kind of thing happens — even if it's a right of theirs, it doesn't make it right to do," Weinstein said. "I want to publicly thank our community and our friends who are just wonderful sources of positivity for us, and I'm truly thankful to be in this position, even when stuff like this happens. I'm still I'm thankful to be in a position to make a change or to talk about it as a public servant."
Watch Weinstein's Facebook Live broadcast from Sunday below:
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