- Vaughxx Rush Booker alleged that a group of white men attempted to lynch him while he was walking from a lunar eclipse viewing in Indiana on Saturday.
- The men allegedly jumped and beat Booker after telling him and his group that they crossed into private property.
- Law enforcement are investigating the incident.
A group of white men allegedly attempted to lynch a black man in Indiana during a July 4 encounter that was partially caught on video.
Vauhxx Rush Booker and his friends were walking from a lunar eclipse viewing at a public park south of Bloomington, Indiana Saturday when he was jumped, beaten and pinned against a tree, he said in a Facebook post. The alleged attackers said that he and his friends were cutting through private property, according to Booker.
“Two of them jumped me from behind and knocked me to the ground. I tussled with the two and another one joined in, then two more,” Booker, who is a member of the Monroe County Human Rights Commission, said. “The five were able to easily overwhelm me and got me to the ground and dragged me pinning my body against a tree as they began pounding on my head and ripped off some of my hair, with several of them still on top of my body holding me down.”
He continued: “Looking back now, it’s apparent that these individuals began targeting our group the moment they saw myself, a Black man and were looking to provoke a conflict.” (RELATED: Formula One Drivers Take Knee, Wear ‘End Racism’ Shirts At Season Opener In Austria)
During the commotion, the group of men allegedly threatened to break Booker’s arms and told others in their group to “get a noose,” according to Booker. They also commanded the others in the group to leave but they refused until Booker was released, he said.
“I lack the ability to adequately express my thoughts regarding this moment. How many Black people had the same surreal and terrifying experience of strangers talking about their own murders in front of them, who then didn’t live to see another day,” he added.
Booker was able to free himself with the help of his group and walked away using a wooded trail while the men followed yelling at him, he said. One of the men hurled insults at the group, calling Booker a “nappy-headed bitch” and a “motherf***ing liberal bitch,” according to the video of the incident.
Police were called, but did not arrest any of the alleged attackers, according to Booker. Indiana law enforcement are investigating the incident, The Bloomingtonian reported.
“I care a great deal and I want to help my residents have justice,” Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton told Yahoo News. “We know we have hate incidents every year. We know there is racism in our community and we can’t pretend that’s not the case.”
Hamilton has known and interacted with Booker for the entire five years of his mayorship, he told Yahoo News. He also called Bloomington a progressive and liberal city. (RELATED: ‘She’s Got The Gun On Me’: White Woman Pulls Pistol On Black Family In Viral Video)
“This violent show of racism is absolutely sickening. Something is deeply wrong in Indiana,” former Democratic presidential candidate and former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg tweeted Tuesday morning.
This violent show of racism is absolutely sickening. Something is deeply wrong in Indiana. https://t.co/J2xupNlXX0
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) July 7, 2020
Police are also investigating an incident in which a protester was hit and dragged by a car on Saturday in Mishawaka, Indiana, according to CBS affiliate WSBT-TV. Police have yet to confirm if the driver purposely drove through the crowd of demonstrators.
The incidents come as protests continue in the wake of the death of George Floyd. Floyd died in Minneapolis police custody on May 25 after an officer kneeled on his neck, video shows.
The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office didn’t immediately respond to request for comment.
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