A black protester, Rakeem Jones, was sucker punched in the face at a rally for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in Fayetteville, North Carolina, on March 9 (video below).
Jones was part of a group of nonviolent protesters being led out of the Trump rally when a white man walked over and threw the punch, notes the New York Daily News.
That man, John McGraw, 78, was later arrested and charged, reports New York Daily News.
According to The Washington Post, the men who led the protesters out wore uniforms that read “Sheriff’s Office."
Jones stumbled, and, moments later, was handcuffed on the floor by the men in uniforms.
“Boom, he caught me,” Jones told The Washington Post. “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.”
Jones said his "diverse" group included a Muslim, white female and a gay man, who all went to the Trump rally as a “social experiment."
“She shouted, but at the same time, they were shouting too,” Jones recalled. “Everyone was shouting, too. … No one in our group attempted to get physical.”
At the time, Jones said Cumberland County officers took him out of the rally, but did not detain his attacker. McGraw was detained later.
“It’s happening at all these rallies now and they’re letting it ride,” Jones stated. “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.”
Ronnie C. Rouse, who was with Jones, told The Washington Post that the crowd singled out the group and yelled, “You need to get the f--- out of there!”
Rouse said that their group was escorted out of the building by Cumberland County Sheriff's officers.
Rouse said Jones was “slammed” to the ground by the officers and handcuffed, while someone in the crowd yelled, “Go home n------."
“We’ve been watching all this stuff happen to everyone else,” Rouse added. “This isn’t Biloxi. This isn’t Montgomery. This is Fayetteville. … it’s a well-cultured area.”
“I wanted to take my 11-year-old child, to give him a touch of what’s happening political-wise. I’m glad I didn’t. I’ve never been more embarrassed to be from here in my life. It’s just appalling.”
The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office and the Fayetteville Police Department both told The Washington Post that none of their officers detained Jones.