In a special moment of reconciliation, defendant James Franklin McGraw, who had been arrested and charged with assault, shook hands with Rakeem Jones, the man he punched.
“You know what you did, and I know what I did. I’m not going to say you were wrong or I’m wrong,” McGraw said to his victim, according to a WRAL report. “I hate it worse than anything in the world. If I met you in the street and the same thing occurred, I would have said, ‘Go on home. One of us will get hurt.’ That’s what I would have said.”
Jones had attended the rally with a number of other protesters, and the confrontation occurred as they made their way out of the auditorium. That’s when McGraw struck Jones.
“Boom, he caught me,” Jones told the Washington Post the day following the incident. “After I get it, before I could even gain my thoughts, I’m on the ground getting escorted out. Now I’m waking up this morning looking at the news and seeing me getting hit again.”