A protester at a Wednesday evening Donald Trump rally in North Carolina was sucker-punched by one of the candidate’s supporters, multiple videos show. Rakeem Jones, who is black, was being led out of the rally by sheriff’s officials when a pony-tailed white man in a cowboy hat clearly reached out and punched him in the face. Jones—the victim of the assault—was then detained and handcuffed by police.
The 26-year-old inventory associate told The Washington Post that he went with four friends to the rally but was escorted out by officials when supporters told them to leave. “The police jumped on me like I was the one swinging,” he said. “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.” Afterward, someone in the crowd allegedly shouted: “Go home, n*ggers.” Police in Kentucky are investigating at least two alleged assaults at another rally in that state, including one that involved a young black woman who was shoved and called “scum.”
Trump said at a Nevada rally last month that he himself would like to punch a protester. At another event he said of potential rabble-rousers: "Knock the crap out of them. I'll pay the legal fees." This week's North Carolina assailant apparently took The Donald at his word.
The assailant was later identified as John McGraw, 78, of Linden, N.C., and he has reportedly been charged with assault and battery and disorderly conduct.