A White supporter of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was caught on camera punching a Black man at a North Carolina rally on Wednesday (March 9). Now, he faces assault charges.
In several videos that have been shared widely on social media, John McGraw, 78, can be seen punching 26-year-old Rakeem Jones during a Trump event in Fayetteville. Jones told The Washington Post that he and four friends attended the rally as a "social experiment," and he was forced to leave after one of his friends started shouting during Trump’s speech. The video shows Jones being escorted out by law enforcement. As the audience jeered, Jones put up a middle finger. Immediately after, McGraw punched him. The police escort then detained Jones. "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."
A spokesman for Cumberland County Sherrif’s Office—the agency whose officers escorted Jones out of the rally—confirmed yesterday (March 10) that McGraw was later arrested and he is due in court in April, where he’ll face charges for assault and disorderly conduct. He also told the Post that he didn’t think the officers saw that Jones had been hit. "Regardless of political affiliation, speech, race, national origin, color, gender, bad reputation, prior acts or political demonstration, no other citizen has the right to assault another person or to act in such a way as this defendant did," Sherrif Earl Butler wrote in a statement posted on Facebook.
Inside Edition posted footage of a man identified as McGraw, saying, "Yes, he deserved it. The next time we see him, we might have to kill him."
The incident is just the latest in a series that finds Trump supporters verbally and physically assaulting protesters.