Several people taking part in a rally for Donald Trump in Birmingham, Alabama pushed down, kicked, and punched a black protester. At least six Trump supporters shoved and tackled the protester, while one man punched the demonstrator and a woman kicked him while he was on the ground, according to CNN. One even attempted to choke the protester as another onlooker yelled “Don’t choke him!” according to the Washington Post’s account.
It all began when a well-known local activist began yelling, “Black lives matter!” As a fight began to break out around the protester, Trump stopped his speech and made a plea: “Get him the hell out of here, will you please?”
The incident was all filmed by CNN reporter Jeremy Diamond.
“They said ‘Go home, n****r,’ and somebody punched me,'' Mercutio Southall Jr. told AL.com after security removed him from the rally. “I punched back. You know [I] don’t do the turn-the-other-cheek (expletive).”
The protester did not need medical attention, and no one was arrested. Campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks told CNN that “the campaign does not condone this behavior.” But Trump wasn’t exactly discouraging his supporters.
On Sunday, Trump defended his supporters. “I don’t know. Roughed up?” Trump said when he was asked about the incident on Fox News. “Maybe he should have been roughed up because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing.”
The incident took place a few days after Trump shamed a heckler because of his weight. “You know, it’s amazing. I mentioned food stamps and that guy who’s seriously overweight went crazy. He went crazy. It’s amazing.”