*In yet another headline grabbing display, a Donald Trump rally in Albany, New York became the locale of the physical assault of a black protester by a supporter of the Republican presidential frontrunner.
Video footage of the incident, which occurred Monday (April 11) and recently went viral on social media, captures the Trump supporter coming face-to-face with a line of Trump protesters as supporters and protesters loudly insulted each other. According to the New York Daily News, things took a violent turn as tempers flared and one of the Trump supporters reached across the barrier, grabbed the black protester’s face and wound up slapping the black protester as the man was pulled back away from the barrier by other Trump supporters.
Mediaite cites an interview that “Mike,” the Trump supporter, who assaulted the black protester, gave to NBC News on Monday after he was pulled away. Detailing what happened, Mike mentioned that he attacked the black protester after the protester started “yelling about some bu*****t.” In his eyes, Mike claims the black protester violated his personal space.
In contrast, Mike is clearly shown approaching the barrier and reaching across, while the protester backs away from Mike’s arm.
“I have my personal rights, and my personal space. They’re gonna start yelling about some bullsh*t, I’ll snatch your ass up. That’s all,” Mike told NBC News just after assaulting a black protester.
— Kate Seckinger (@KateSeckinger) April 11, 2016
— Kate Seckinger (@KateSeckinger) April 12, 2016
The assault on the anti-Trump protester happened just minutes after Trump’s campaign staff took to the stage and instructed the real estate mogul’s supporters not to touch the protesters. Instead, staffers told supporters to hold their signs higher and chant “Trump! Trump! Trump!” as an alternative to resorting to physical violence. Considering Trump’s recent history of uttering what some label as “violent” rhetoric and causing concern that his comments would trigger violence at his campaign rallies, the staffers efforts to prevent yet another incident was noteworthy.
Nevertheless, the latest rally incident is one more in a string of high-profile violent incidents that have taken place at Trump-related events. Among those happenings was one reportedly involving a black protester being sucker punched by a white Trump supporter as he was being escorted out of the building while in handcuffs.
Amid mounting criticism from commentators, political pundits, and other Republican politicians, Trump toned down the fiery rhetoric as he mentioned that while protesters are allowed to be present, they are separated from the Trump supporters to prevent any violence from surfacing. Despite Trump’s efforts, controversial encounters have continued. Another happened 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 prior to being escorted from the event by police, the Inquisitor notes.
Ahead of Monday’s rally in Albany’s Times Union Arena, which attracted a crowd of 17,000, Salon acknowledged that Trump supporters reportedly waited more than eight hours in the cold, pouring rain to get into the event. As a result, the mood wasn’t a happy one for those arriving on the scene.