The single father of three denounced reports he attacked supporters on Saturday at Trump’s campaign rally in Birmingham. Southall said he and two friends attended the rally to speak out against the presidential candidate’s views on immigrants, Latinos, and Syrian refugees. Southall claims Trump supporters stayed away from him and his friends until they noticed he was headed towards the front stage to ask Trump a question.
After his friend got his phone knocked out of his hand while live streaming, Southall said he began chanting “Black Lives Matter.”
Things took a turn for the worst when the social justice advocate was pushed to the floor and punched by Trump’s supporters.
“This is a city where some of the biggest battles of the civil rights movement happened, where four little girls got bombed up, so we aren’t accepting of anything like that kind of talk down here,” he tells Think Progress. “I mean, this man came to our city a couple of weeks before Christmas, saying we should not let in Middle Eastern refugees. If I’m not mistaken, I think Jesus was a Middle Eastern refugee. So we were not going to stand idly by and see the rise of the next Hitler. We knew we had to stand for something. It was just a sea of white faces,” he continued. “A lady kicked me in the stomach. A man kicked me in the chest. They called me n*****, monkey, and they shouted ‘all lives matter’ while they were kicking and punching me. So for all the people who are still confused at this point, they proved what ‘all lives matter’ meant. It means, ‘Shut up, n*****.’”
As Southall was kicked by men and women alike, a police officer tried to stop him from defending himself while he was being choked by another supporter.
Think Progress reports:
“I was being choked right in front of a Birmingham Police officer and all he did was try to stop me from hitting the man who was choking me,” he said. “But I’m supposed to trust y’all now? It’s very scary for a black parent with black sons. It’s 50 years past the civil rights movement and in Birmingham, Alabama, just a couple of blocks away from the Civil Rights Institute, I was lynched in broad daylight in the presence of police officers. How am I supposed to feel about that? Happy and accepting and free? I definitely don’t feel free. I don’t think this is the dream Martin Luther King was talking about.”
Birmingham Police said Southall hasn’t filed a claim about the incident, but they do not plan on charging anyone with a crime. Police spokesperson Lt. Sean Edwards, who allegedly knows Southall, called him an “agitator.”
In the past, Southall, a licensed gun owner, has been arrested for speaking his mind. He was arrested last year during a Black Lives Matter protest at a local Walmart and during a protest for Kindra Chapman, who died in police custody over the summer. He’s also been arrested for openly carrying firearms.
Southall is currently deciding whether or not to take legal action.
SOURCE: Think Progress | VIDEO CREDIT: Inform