A chapter leader of the far-right extremist gang Proud Boys was charged with assault on Sunday in Akron, Ohio, after he was recorded shouting racial epithets at a black woman and then punching her in the face .
A man identified by police as Andrew Walls, 26, was filmed outside a bar in the early hours of Sunday, stumbling and brawling with other patrons while spewing a torrent of racial slurs. His victim, Cameron Morgan, 23, was walking by with a friend when she heard Walls and others around her yelling, “Fuck niggers.”
She later told her father that she confronted Walls after realizing she was the only black person around.
“We were like… ‘You can’t say that. It’s not OK,” she told her father, local teacher and former sportscaster David Lee Morgan Jr., who recorded the conversation and provided a transcript to HuffPost.
Video taken by Cameron Morgan’s friend shows what happened next: Walls sits up, points his finger at Morgan and repeats the racist slur, adding, “Bitch, shut the fuck up.” He then cocks his right fist and punches her directly in the face, the impact of which releases a bloodcurdling pop.
Morgan was treated for a concussion.
WARNING: The video below contains graphic violence and racist language.
Walls continued after the taping ended and dragged Cameron down the street by his hair, his father said. She was shaken up, he said, and left the scene without calling the police initially.
But once the video started making the rounds on social media on Sunday, activists quickly identified the attacker as Walls. They also discovered a previous story about him in the local Akron Beacon Journal, which identified him as the vice president of the Akron-Canton chapter of the Proud Boys.
Although Walls was not wearing his Proud Boys uniform – a black and yellow Fred Perry polo shirt – during the assault, his membership in the gang suggests a predisposition to violence and bigotry. The Proud Boys, designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and a terrorist organization by Canada, have close ties to white supremacist groups and other extremists, and violence is literally written into their rules. (The highest rank in the gang, known as Fourth Degree, is awarded only to members who commit a significant act of violence “for the cause.”)
Walls’ chapter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Reached by phone on Sunday, David Morgan’s voice shook as he recalled waking up to see a video on his phone of his daughter being assaulted.
“As soon as we saw it, I was in tears,” he said. “I just cried, because I just saw someone hit my daughter, which wouldn’t hurt a fly.
Morgan said her daughter went to an urgent care clinic and was treated for a concussion after seeing stars and passing out. Her face swelled up temporarily, to the point that she couldn’t move her jaw.
“She couldn’t really open her mouth to eat,” he said.
Walls was charged with possession of a firearm while intoxicated and assault, and a warrant was issued for his arrest. The severity of Cameron’s injuries could make his assault charge a felony, the Akron Beacon Journal reports. Akron police are also considering an additional ethnic intimidation charge.
David Morgan said the revelation of Walls’ Proud Boys affiliation changed everything for him. He said he was aware of the gang and the nationwide tour of political violence they had been on since their founding in 2016, but he “never thought it would hit until today.”
“It changes a lot for me, in the sense that I want to get involved now,” he said. “This event was time for me to wake up. And I hate that my daughter had to suffer this for me to wake up.