A former Marine was savagely beaten in a Mississippi restaurant after being told it wasn’t safe for “his kind” to be there. It was said the reason behind the polite warning had to do with the recent murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
Technically, the Missouri incidents happened about two states away, but apparently the residents of Mississippi were using the news as an excuse to start their own scuffles.
You might assume that the Marine and his Air Force veteran friend David Knighten were African-American, but they were actually Caucasian. Racism applies both ways as the two soldiers discovered.
Ralph Weems IV, 32, and Knighten had gone into a Waffle House Saturday. Weems went inside, and a gentleman waved Knighten over and politely told him it wasn’t safe for “whites.” Knighten went inside anyway and found Weems in an argument with some people already.
— Kellie Freeman (@KellieMac2) August 26, 2014
The disagreement between the crowd and the former Marine escalated to the point where police had to get involved. The two eventually left the restaurant after Knighten was forced to reveal to the authorities his permit to conceal carry a.45-caliber handgun.
Knighten and Weems decided to try Huddle House nearby, in spite of a nearly vacant parking lot a few minutes after 1 A.M.; a crowd of more than 20 men had allegedly followed them from the Waffle House. Emerging from the restroom, Knighten found his friend surrounded and attempted to defuse the situation.
A shoving match began the worst of it as a security guard told them to leave. It was too late. David Knighten said the men who had followed them were then blocking the exit. He managed to leave, but former Marine Weems had been taken down and was being kicked hard while the crowd allegedly threw racial slurs at him.
Both men had been attacked in the incident, with the Air Force veteran having taken the lesser beating. After the crowd had dispersed, the police showed up once more after 2 A.M.
Police Chief Tim Brinkley stated in a press release:
“This does not appear to be a hate crime. We are investigating this as an aggravated assault. It’s very early in this investigation, but thus far, the evidence and statements suggest that a verbal altercation turned physical and somebody got hurt.”
Former Marine Ralph Weems underwent brain surgery and is in a medically induced coma after the attack. Knighten suffered broken bones in his face.
Do you agree with Police Chief Tim Brinkley or was this indeed a hate crime?
[image via Clarion Ledger, 2itch Talk]