Trump fan who punched black protester: 'We might have to kill him'
Rakeem Jones was being escorted out of a Donald Trump rally when he was punched in the face
Footage from a Donald Trump rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina, went viral on Thursday after it showed a black protester being escorted out of the event, then punched in the face by a stetson-wearing white man.
Rakeem Jones, 26, was being shepherded out by sheriffs when John McGraw, 78, attacked him. Police then pushed Mr Jones to the floor, instead of arresting Mr McGraw – a response which sparked fury online.
“Boom, he caught me,” Mr 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.”
Mr Jones blamed the Cumberland County officers escorting him from the rally for failing to protect him — then detaining him instead of the man who attacked him.
“It’s happening at all these rallies now and they’re letting it ride," he 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."
Mr McGraw was on Thursday afternoon in custody, having voluntarily come in to be interviewed by police.
But Mr Trump himself has done little to condemn violence. After a fight erupted between protesters and police last year in Birmingham, Mr Trump said: “‘Maybe he should have been roughed up.”
Of a protester in Nevada last month, Mr Trump said: “I’d like to punch him in the face.”
In Kentucky, he said: “Get him out. Try not to hurt him. If you do I’ll defend you in court. Are Trump rallies the most fun? We’re having a good time.”