Multiple videos show a protester at a Donald Trump rally in North Carolina being sucker-punched by a Trump supporter.
The videos, which appeared on social media early Thursday and are shot from different perspectives, show an African American with long hair wearing a white T-shirt leaving the Trump rally as the audience boos. He is being led out of the rally by men in uniforms that read “Sheriff’s Office.” The man extends a middle finger to the audience on his way out.
Then, out of nowhere, the man is punched in the face by a pony-tailed man, who appears to be white, in a cowboy hat, black vest and pink shirt as the crowd begins to cheer. The protester stumbles away, and then is detained by a number of the men in uniforms.
“Chill, chill!” an onlooker says. “You don’t gotta grab him like that!”
Rakeem Jones, the man who was hit, said the punch came out of nowhere.
“Boom, he caught me,” Jones told The Washington Post in a telephone interview. “After I get it, before I could even gain my thoughts, I’m on the ground getting escorted out. Now I’m waking up this morning looking at the news and seeing me getting hit again.”
John McGraw, 78, was charged with assault and disorderly conduct in connection with the incident, Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sean Swain told The Post on Thursday.
I heard on TV tonight that Mr. Pony-tail was still in jail. Apparently Trump isn’t coming to his aid. The guy who got hit had given the crowd the finger. BFD. They shouldn’t have been jeering and taunting him. Giving the finger is impolite but also it protected most places as freedom of speech. It certainly doesn’t give some overly-zealous old man the right to sucker punch the young man.
According to USAtoday.com:
Jones attended the Wednesday rally with friends including a Muslim, a gay man and a white woman, he told The Post. He said “no one in our group attempted to get physical,” but said the woman with him began shouting after Trump’s speech began.
Other event attendees shouted back.
Ronnie Rouse, who was at the event with Jones, told The Post the audience members shouted “Go home n—–s” and “You need to get the f— out of there!”
The altercation marks the latest violent incident between Trump supporters and protesters at the candidate’s events.
Once again, if you listen to the background noise, it becomes obvious that the tone of the rally is conducive to rudeness and violence. Many years ago, when I was in college, my parents told me flat out that if I got involved in any student demonstrations they would whip me out of school so fast my head would spin. I took them at their word.
Then Kent State happened. Innocent people were shot and killed. Students who were observing. Those kinds of situations, especially ones where large emotionally-charged crowds are concerned are gasoline kegs waiting for a match.
Every time I see a Trump rally with the yelling, the screaming, the threats, the demonization of a person or group, the talk of violence…I just wonder when it’s going to happen. It will if the course is not changed, I fear.