August 25, 2014

LIFE IN POST-RACIAL AMERICA: Mississippi man beaten after he’s warned restaurant wasn’t safe for whites, witness says.

A relative, Bradley Barnes of Madison, told The Associated Press by telephone on Sunday that his brother-in-law was in a medically induced coma following brain surgery. “They’re going to try and wake him up tomorrow and see what damage was done,” Barnes said, describing Weems as a 32-year-old former Marine who had served in Iraq.

David Knighten of West Point told AP earlier by phone that he and Weems had gone to a Waffle House early Saturday. He said a man waved him over outside the restaurant and told him politely that people were upset by the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and it wasn’t a safe place for whites. When he went in, he said, Weems was inside and was arguing with other men. . . .

Knighten, who said he had served with the Air Force in Afghanistan, said he came out of the restroom to find Weems surrounded. “I was trying to defuse the situation,” he said.

After some shoving, he said, the security guard told everyone to leave.

Knighten said some people blocked him from leaving with Weems. When he got out, he said, Weems was down and people were kicking him. Knighten said others attacked him, adding “I do remember racial slurs being yelled from the crowd.”

Knighten says he has broken bones in his face, a cut over his left eye and a blood clot in his right eye.

Police did not arrive until after the crowd had left, he said.

But this is a relief: “This does not appear to be a hate crime.”

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