One would think that after several years of the rallying cry’s existence, racist white people would at least be desensitized enough that the mere words, “Black lives matter” wouldn’t send them into a violent rage on anyone who dares display signs showing support for the movement. Unfortunately, this is not the case, and the recent arrest of a white man accused of attacking two people in Lewisville, N.C., over the BLM signs displayed in their car window makes that evident.
The Winston-Salem Journal reports that 55-year-old Rod Steven Sturdy is facing two misdemeanor charges of simple assault and assault on a woman following an incident on Dec. 3 where he is accused of repeatedly punching a minor and then punching a woman who came to defend him—all because a BLM sign and a sign that read, “Prosecute the cops who murdered Breonna Taylor” were displayed in the rear window of the car they were riding in.
The name of the minor hasn’t been revealed, but the two adults in the car were identified as Nova Tempest and Olivia Pugh, the minor’s sisters.
Here’s what the family’s attorney, Helen Parsonage, says happened as reported by the Journal:
On Dec. 3, Tempest was driving the family members along Lewisville-Clemmons Road toward the dental clinic, which is on Shallowford Road. At 10:55 a.m. Sturdy started alternating between tailgating the family and then cutting in front of them and slamming on the brakes, Parsonage said. Sturdy followed the family for a couple of blocks, until Tempest turned into the parking lot of the dentist’s office.
Sturdy blocked the family in, got out of his car and headed to the back passenger seat, where Tempest’s and Pugh’s brother was. Parsonage said Sturdy then began hitting the brother in the face. Pugh tried to intervene and Sturdy punched Pugh twice in the face, according to Parsonage.
Sturdy pointed at the signs and used the N-word. He also used the word “whores,” Parsonage said.
LaShanda Millner, spokeswoman for the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, confirmed that Sturdy used racist language and had tailgated the family before the incident. Arrest warrants said Sturdy punched both the brother and Pugh in the face.
The Associated Press reports that Sturdy spoke briefly to a reporter over the phone about the charges he faces. All he reportedly told them is, “I’m going to court, and you can be there,” and that he didn’t expect the media to care about the facts regarding the alleged assaults.
According to the Journal, Sturdy is scheduled to appear in Forsyth District Court on Jan. 22.