A Donald Trump supporter who sucker punched a Black Lives Matter protester at a Trump rally in North Carolina has been charged with assault, Fox News reports.
Rakeem Jones, 26, was being escorted out of the building amid shouts of “Go home, niggers” from the crowd. Jones, who was surrounded by sheriff’s deputies, was leaving peacefully when he was sucker punched by 78-year-old John McGraw. The unprovoked attack was captured on video.
The video shows sheriff’s deputies tackling Jones to the floor and restraining him before escorting him out of the building.
Fox News reports McGraw was later charged with assault and battery and disorderly conduct.
The assault on peaceful activists raises questions about lackadaisical police response when protestors are assaulted at Trump rallies.
In an interview with The washington Post, Jones said, “The police jumped on me like I was the one swinging. My eye still hurts. It’s just shocking. The shock of it all is starting to set in. It’s like this dude really hit me and they let him get away with it. I was basically in police custody and got hit.”
But public information officer Sgt. Sean Swain disputes Jones’ claims.
“I couldn’t see if officers took him to the ground, or if he fell to the ground,” Swain said. “We haven’t talked to the officers at the top of the steps,” Swain, who was at the rally, said it’s possible that Swain stumbled on the steps and fell to the floor.
“Until we investigate it, we can’t say our officers took him down to the ground. Now, we did pick him off the ground and escort him out,” Swain told Fox News on Thursday.