At a Donald Trump rally in New York State yesterday, a Trump supporter was caught on video physically assaulting a black protester, causing a firestorm on social media as the video went viral.
Yesterday, during an Albany, New York rally, a Donald Trump supporter came face-to-face with a line of anti-Trump protesters, and as the two sides shouted insults at one another, tempers flared and one of the Trump supporters reached across the barrier, grabbing a black protester’s face and slapping him as other Trump supporters pulled the man back away from the barrier, reports New York Daily News.
The Trump supporter who assaulted the black protester, reports Mediaite, spoke with NBC News after being pulled away. Mike, the Trump supporter, told NBC News that he attacked the black protester after the man started “yelling about some bu*****t.” Mike, the Trump supporter, claims the black protester violated his personal space, but the video clearly shows Mike approach the barrier and reach across, while the protester backs away from Mike’s arm.
— Kate Seckinger (@KateSeckinger) April 11, 2016
“I have my personal rights, and my personal space. They’re gonna start yelling about some bu*****t, I’ll snatch your a** up. That’s all,” Trump supporter Mike told NBC News yesterday just after assaulting a black protester.
Mike’s assault of an anti-Trump protester came just minutes after Trump campaign staff took to the stage and instructed the assembled Trump supporters not to touch the protesters, but instead hold their signs higher and chant “Trump! Trump! Trump!” rather than resorting to physical violence. The announcement ahead of the Trump rally signals a change for Trump, who has in recent weeks moved away from his previously fiery and, by some accounts, “violent” rhetoric amid concerns that his words could incite violence at his rallies.
Yesterday’s assault is just one of several high-profile instances of violence at Trump rallies, including at least one other instance of a white Trump supporter attacking – sucker punching, according to reports – a black protester who was handcuffed and being escorted from the venue. But after withering criticism from commentators, political pundits, and other Republican politicians, Donald Trump has walked back his rhetoric, and kept a more even tone in his rallies, insuring that protesters are allowed to be present, but making sure they’re separated from the Trump supporters in order to prevent flare-ups of political violence.
— Kate Seckinger (@KateSeckinger) April 12, 2016
As The Inquisitr reported previously, another instance of violence at a Trump rally occurred just last week when a 15-year-old girl was reportedly sexually assaulted by a Trump supporter who allegedly “grabbed her breasts” before she was pepper sprayed by “non-law enforcement” personnel before being escorted from the event by police.
According to Salon, the Trump supporters at the Republican frontrunner’s Albany rally yesterday reportedly waited for over eight hours in the pouring rain to get into the Trump rally, causing many supporters to arrive at the rally in less than high spirits. After waiting for hours in the cold, Trump supporters, some 17,000 of them, filled Albany’s Times Union Arena, and protesters filled a separate area reserved for Trump protesters, where they held up anti-Trump signs and attempted several times to shout down the Republican frontrunner.
Donald Trump only called for the removal of protesters when they would get too loud or rowdy, but reportedly didn’t witness the assault of a black protester by one of his supporters.
The Donald Trump rally on Monday comes just a week away from the New York primary in which the Republican frontrunner is strongly favored to win over rivals Ted Cruz and John Kasich, with CNN polls putting Trump’s current poll numbers well ahead of rivals Kasich and Cruz.
[Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images]