The days when violent acts of racism were blindly ignored and oftentimes legally validated in America have fortunately come to an end, but sadly prejudice is still very much alive and can pop up at any given moment.
A 23-year-old Black woman suffered one of the most recent examples of a hate crime after she became the victim of a racially-motivated verbal attack by a 59-year-old white man that led to him punching her in the face over 10 times at a Jacksonville, Florida gas station.
Authorities say assailant Kevin Troy Williamson attacked Rayme McCoy for no other reason other than his bigoted ideologies. He’s currently being charged with misdemeanor battery according to News4Jax, in addition to the court ordering him to be held on $20,000 bond and have zero contact with the victim, witnesses or gas station overall. The video captured and posted by McCoy herself (seen above) is damning evidence, showing Williamson delivering a series of closed-fist punches in the face of McCoy before quickly exiting the gas station.
Read up more on how the situation transpired in the first place, via News4Jax:
“McCoy said she walked into the gas station near her home and was followed by an older white man who was already involved in an argument with someone outside.
McCoy said the man was ‘ranting and raving’ and using racist language and at one point, the man walked toward the counter where McCoy was standing and she asked him to back up. That’s when the man said he had a gun in his car, McCoy said.
‘So at that point, I felt threatened,’ McCoy said. ‘He put his beers on the counter in front of my stuff and I slid them over and at that point, that’s when he started punching me in the face.’
Video shared with News4JAX, which does not contain audio of the exchange, shows the man with a mustache and a green shirt punching McCoy in the face at least 10 times before he walks out of the store. The video was also posted on social media and shared thousands of times.”
Williamson’s license plate number eventually connected him to the crime, which led to his arrest last Friday (May 20). It was later revealed that he’s a registered sex offender, which he actually had the unmitigated gall to reference when asking the judge to consider releasing him without bond. “Ma’am, could I speak a moment? I request that maybe you could lower my bond to nothing because I’m not a flight risk,” he boldly stated in court, going on to add, “I’ve fulfilled, for 33 years, the state’s registration requirements. Never missed. I’m down to – I got 2 and ¾ years left, and they’re going to relieve me of that. Of course, I go to court.” After the judge politely denied his request, he responded by stating, “Yes, Ma’am. Just thought I’d ask you,” before wishing her a “wonderful day.”
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office wrote in its report that no hate crime was committed, but attorney Randy Reep confirmed that it’s actually up to the State Attorney’s Office to decide if that charge will be pursued. He explains this by stating, “So the battery is an unwanted touching — that is easy to convince a jury of in this case. That woman did not invite the punches that she received.” Reep clarified things further by stating, “But if you add in the hate crime element, like we saw in the Mr. Arbery case up in Georgia, you’re adding in now a racial animus as the motivating factor to do that battery — it becomes a harder thing to prove. There’s a new element in the story to prove.”
Once witnesses are interviewed, the State Attorney will make a decision on the final charges. Reep expects that process to take between two to three weeks.
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