by Nadra Enzi, Contributing Writer
John F. McGraw, a 78 year old Donald Trump supporter, was charged with assault after a video surfaced of his sucker-punching Rakeem Jones, a suspected Black Lives Matter (BLM) protester.
The alleged protester was being escorted out of a North Carolina Trump rally by sheriffs deputies and was immediately taken into custody. The assault apparently happened during this process. Observers wonder if local law enforcement saw the assault upon him. The question, while valid, casts light more broadly on Black Lives Matter tactics and the atmosphere of this presidential candidates’ rallies.
A jail house intimidation approach, BLM’s preference, inflames attendees perceiving it as disturbing the peace and disrespectful.
Disrupting an event places police focus upon you, making it harder to identify assailants among the screaming crowd you inflamed. Conversely, if protesters haven’t initiated violence, there’s little cause to forcibly eject them. (It’s also within their First Amendment rights to “peaceably assemble.”)
I don’t support disrupting events. I find it arrogant and rife with negative unintended consequences. As Black Lives Matters evolves, I hope evolution includes creating more respectful protest models. In-your-face tactics can get you punched in the face by crowd cowboys. I’m not endorsing attacking rude protesters, BLM or otherwise, just noting potential trouble gleaned from years as event security and a parade marshal at demonstrations.
The arrested Trump supporter has since made indefensible statements to media. Why throw jet fuel on a political bonfire?