Black Protester Hugs It Out with Trump Supporter Who Sucker Punched Him Earlier This Year
A 79-year-old white Trump supporter caught on video sucker punching a Black protester in March received one year’s probation in a Fayetteville, North Carolina, court Wednesday, Dec. 14. He also received a hug from the victim.
John Franklin McGraw told a Cumberland County judge that he was “caught up in a political mess” when he punched 26-year-old Rakeem Jones in the face and that his actions were not “racially motivated,” WNCN CBS North Carolina reported.
McGraw then apologized and Jones accepted. The two men embraced before the judge sentenced McGraw to one year of unsupervised probation.
“It just felt good being able to shake his hand … and face him,” Jones said.
The court appearance stemmed from an incident at a March 9 Trump rally in Fayetteville. Jones, who was there to protest Trump’s hateful, racist rhetoric, was being escorted out by Cumberland County Sheriff’s deputies when McGraw sucker punched him. The officers did not arrest McGraw at the time but continued removing Jones from the building.
Moments after the attacking, McGraw boasted about it in an interview with Inside Edition. “The next time we see him, we might have to kill him,” McGraw said. “We don’t know who he is. He might be with a terrorist organization. … You bet I liked it, knocking the hell out of that big mouth.
“No. 1, we don’t know if he’s ISIS,” he said. “We don’t know who he is, but we know he’s not acting like an American.”
McGraw was eventually arrested and charged with communicating threats, and assault and battery.