John McGraw punched a protester in the face at a Donald Trump rally Wednesday, saying right after the attack, “Next time we see him, we might have to kill him.”
McGraw was charged with assault and battery and disorderly conduct, making him the first Trump supporter to be charged with violence at a rally. But he is certainly not the first supporter to get violent.
Since the beginning of Trump’s campaign, protesters at his events, who are often minorities in mostly white crowds, have been hurt at the hands of Trump supporters. In October there was Ariel Rojas, a Hispanic protester who was dragged to the ground and kicked in Trump’s ballroom in Doral. In November, a Trump crowd in Birmingham yelled racial slurs and punched African American protester Mercutio Southall.
Numerous other protesters over the months have been kicked, punched, spit on and yelled at by Trump fans; some have had rough encounters with members of security or Trump’s own team.
Trump once offered to pay the legal fees of his fans who beat up protesters. “You can do anything,” he has said to his crowds, “and I’m still going to love you.”