New Jersey BLM leader charged with punching elderly man during rally
A Black Lives Matter leader in New Jersey has been charged with punching an elderly man in the face — knocking him to the ground — when he tried to confront him at a boardwalk rally.
Jamaal Holmes — the 28-year-old leader of a march Saturday in Seaside Heights — was busted for the violent, caught-on-camera clash with a 68-year-old objector, the Asbury Park Press said.
He was charged with simple assault for hitting the unidentified man “in the facial area,” leaving a “small laceration to the back of the head” after he fell, Seaside Heights police spokesman Steve Korman told the paper.
Holmes, of Toms River, admitted in interviews to pushing the man — but insisted it was only self-defense when the objector tried to rip off the “V for Vendetta”-style mask he was wearing for his rally.
“Take the mask off, you scumbag!” an unidentified man yelled at him in shaky footage of the confrontation.
People around them gasped after sounds of the apparent attack, none of which was captured in the footage that later showed the elderly man on the ground as Holmes carried on marching, the paper noted.
“That’s what happens when you lay hands on people, buddy,” Holmes is heard saying through a loudspeaker.
The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office is investigating claims by Holmes and other witnesses that the alleged attack was only in self-defense, the department announced Tuesday, calling for more witnesses.
“He comes up to me to try to rip my mask off, I step back from him because he put his hands on my face first,” Holmes told NJ.com. He only pushed him away when he tried to grab it a second time, with the man falling over a bicycle, Holmes insisted.
His attorney, Brenda Roman Maneri, told NJ.com, “Simply stated, we are confident when all the evidence has been gathered, it will clearly demonstrate: Jamaal Holmes was twice accosted by a counter-demonstrator and acted in self-defense.”
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