“To everyone looking for a politically motivated hate crime to be angry about.”
A video published online Thursday purports to show a young conservative activist getting repeatedly punched in the face on the University of California, Berkeley campus.
Coming hours after actor Jussie Smollett was arrested for allegedly staging a fake right-wing hate crime, the clip drew the ire of conservative commentators. National Rifle Association spokeswoman Dana Loesch called for the assailant to be jailed.
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In the video, a young man is seen being punched in the face twice as he appears to try to film the attacker. Turning Point USA, a right-wing campus group, tweeted out the clip, saying that it showed a “Leftist Thug” assaulting one of its recruiters at Berkeley.
Benny Johnson, who works at Turning Point USA and the Daily Caller, said that he had verified those facts, and commented: “To everyone looking for a politically motivated hate crime to be angry about.” Johnson also said a lawsuit was in the works.
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According to campus police, the activist reported that he was attacked while recruiting for Turning Point USA. Two men approached his table and a verbal altercation ensued, he said. At one point, the conservative activist began filming, but one of the men slapped the phone out of his hand and flipped over the table, he said.
The same man then punched the activist several times, by his account, injuring his eye and nose.
Campus Reform reported Thursday that the man who was punched is Hayden Williams, a Turning Point USA Leadership Institute field representative. The outlet – which is a subsidiary of the Leadership Institute and documents what it sees as liberal excesses in US higher education – said that Williams had been sitting at a table with a sign that read “hate crime hoaxes hurt real victims,” a reference to the Smollett case.
The attacker called Williams “a racist little inbred bitch,” and threatened to shoot him, Campus Reform reported.
Police said the suspect left the scene before officers arrived.
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