FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (UPI) — A black protester was sucker punched by a white man during a rally Thursday for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
The incident was captured on multiple cellphone videos that were posted online.
The videos show two young black men being led out of an arena in Fayetteville, N.C., by Cumberland County Sheriff’s deputies amid loud boos. While being walked up the aisle, one of the protesters, identified by the Washington Post as Rakeem Jones, 26, is approached from the side by a white man in a cowboy hat. The man punches Jones in the face and them shoves him.
Deputies then continued to haul Jones up the stairs until they reach a landing. Jones is then taken to the ground and held there briefly by deputies before being let back on his feet and led out of the arena.
The video appears to show the deputies ignoring the white man, but the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office said the suspect, John McGraw, 78, of Linden, N.C., was later apprehended. Local media reports McGraw has been charged with assault and battery and disorderly conduct.
Contacted afterward, a spokeswoman for the Trump campaign said they cannot be held responsible for the conduct of supporters during a rally.
“We obviously discourage any kind of physical contact or engagement with protesters,” the spokeswoman told The New York Times.
Later in the same event, another black protester, a woman, was being led out when Trump lamented “the good old days” when someone would have been carried out “on a stretcher.”
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