Jim McGraw, a 78-year-old supporter of Donald Trump, sucker punched a Black protester on Wednesday in Fayetteville, N.C. during a rally for the GOP presidential hopeful. McGraw claims he threw the punch because he wasn’t sure if the man he struck, Rakeem Jones was a terrorist or not.
As reported by the Washington Post, Jones said that he and a diverse group of protesters were there at the rally as a “social experiment” and that a woman with the group began shouting as Trump began to speak. When Cumberland County officers working the event went to take them out, Jones extended a middle finger to the crowd but was hit square in the face by McGraw.
While it’s not immediately clear on the video what took place after the punch, on one recording a man can be heard saying “chill, you don’t gotta grab him like that.”
Even stranger, McGraw was allowed to sit back down as people laughed while Jones continued to be escorted out. In a later interview with Inside Edition, McGraw explained why he threw the sucker punch.
From Inside Edition:
When asked if he liked the rally, he said: “You bet I liked it. Knocking the hell out of that big mouth.”
And when asked why he punched the protester, he said: “Number one, we don’t know if he’s ISIS. We don’t know who he is, but we know he’s not acting like an American, cussing me… If he wants it laid out, I laid it out.”
He added: “Yes, he deserved it. The next time we see him, we might have to kill him. We don’t know who he is. He might be with a terrorist organization.”
McGraw was arrested and charged Thursday with misdemeanor assault and battery and disorderly conduct. He is due in Cumberland County court on April 6.
Cumberland County Sheriff Earl “Moose” Butler issued a statement to Facebook condemning McGraw’s actions.
Photo: Cumberland County Sherriff’s Office