Mercutio Southall, who was involved in a physical altercation at a recent campaign rally for Donald Trump, is reportedly preparing to sue several of the Republican presidential hopeful’s supporters for hate crime.
Southall, described as a “well-known activist” by local media, was escorted out of the event last Saturday in Birmingham, Ala. after repeatedly yelling “black lives matter” during Trump’s remarks. He alleges he was kicked and beaten by members of the crowd and called a “monkey” and “n—–” before being removed by security from the premises.
Southall and his attorney, David Gespass, are now preparing to pursue criminal charges against those involved in the altercation including misdemeanor assault and felony hate crimes, The Daily Beast reported Tuesday evening.
According to Alabama’s criminal procedure laws, Southall must first file a police report documenting the incident and then appeal to a magistrate before local law enforcement is authorized to launch an investigation.
Because Trump told members of his security detail to “get him the hell out of here” after Southall began heckling him, Gespass claims the leading GOP candidate could become entangled in a legal battle if hate crime charges are pursued.
“It would seem to me, and this is, again, something that must be thought through more carefully, that aiding and abetting a crime, makes you a participant,” Gespass was quoted as saying.
He reportedly added, “I would say that Trump has a moral and very possibly a legal responsibility to do what he can to ensure people’s safety.”