The incident began at West Point Waffle House in Mississippi on Saturday morning at around 1am. With his friend Ralph Weems already inside the restaurant, David Knighten was approached outside by another diner who told him they should leave because a group of black men were “upset by the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and it wasn’t a safe place for whites,” Knighten told the Associated Press.
When Knighten entered the diner, he found 32-year-old Iraq war veteran Weems already engaged in a heated argument with the group of black men. The police were called and Knighten and Weems left and headed for a Huddle House restaurant on the way to Weems’ house.
However, after apparently having been followed by a mob of 20 men, Knighten exited the restroom to find Weems surrounded. After a security guard asked everyone to leave, Knighten was blocked from getting out of the restaurant but when he was eventually able to exit he witnessed Weems down on the ground being beaten.
Knighten, who served with the Air Force in Afghanistan, was also attacked, suffering broken bones in his face, a blood clot in his right eye and a cut over his left eye. While Weems was being beaten, Knighten heard “racial slurs” being yelled by the crowd.
Police were called to the scene at 2am but the mob had already left. Despite the context of the argument and the yelling of racial slurs, Police Chief Tim Brinkley said the incident wasn’t being treated as a hate crime.
“This does not appear to be a hate crime,” Brinkley said in the press release. “We are investigating this as an aggravated assault. It’s very early in this investigation but thus far the evidence and statements suggest that a verbal altercation turned physical and somebody got hurt.”
Weems received life threatening injuries and had to be put in a medically induced coma following brain surgery at North Mississippi Medical Center.
“To imagine how insane that statement is, just reverse “Black” and “White” in the story above, and imagine how quickly Al Sharpton and Eric Holder would be on a plane to Mississippi. This is just despicable,” writes Jason DeWitt.