An elderly couple who was harassed by the Black Lives Matter protesters while dining at a restaurant on Beach Drive in Florida, was captured showing middle finger and thumbs down to the protesters prior to the attack. The elderly man, who identified himself as Ken, said the gestures were to show their displeasure for being photographed.
The peaceful protests which broke out after the grand jury verdict found the cops not guilty of killing 26-year-old black woman Breonna Taylor, soon took a violent turn after multiple incidents were reported.
BLM Protesters Called Elderly Woman 'Wild Karen'
In the viral video, which has garnered over 3 million views, a BLM protester holding a skateboard is seen approaching the elderly couple's table. As he sat down on one of the vacant chairs, the woman asked him to leave. "No! This is my table," the elderly female is heard telling the occupant as she tried to pull the chair.
Soon three other protesters also join the spot with several others shouting at the couple to 'stand up and fight back'. At this moment, Ken is seen getting up and protecting his friend who says that she is calling the cops. Several protesters are heard hurling abuses at the couple. "I ought to knock your old-ass boyfriend the fuck out," said the protester as he went on to tell the elderly woman, "wild Karen in her natural fucking habitat."
At one point, Ken was seen smiling at the video as protesters continued to gather around his table. A female protester was also caught blowing a horn continuously near the table. Sharing the clip on the microblogging site, Tampa Bay reporter Josh Fiallo, who captured the incident, said some diners had "yelled back" at protesters, "starting multiple confrontations," but he was not sure why the couple filmed were targeted.
Couple's Obscene Gesture Image Goes Viral
Soon after the harassment video went viral an image of the couple prior to being attacked emerged on the social media. While Ken was caught showing middle finger, his friend imitated a gesture which appeared like a Nazi style salute. Sharing the image, a user wrote, "This is why they were targeted. Everything happens for a reason."
Later in an email written to Anna Paulina Luna, Republican candidate for Florida's 13th Congressional District, Ken said that they had given a thumbs down to the protesters for their chants and insults.
Adding that the obscene gesture was to show displeasure at being photographed without permission, Ken said that it was directed at the photographer.
Stating that despite filing a formal complaint with the Mayor, he hasn't heard from him. Ken wrote that there was no SPPD officer in site. "We need leadership in this district, and a Mayor that will stand up to the mob, like I did. It appears that freedom of speech and expression only goes one way here in Charlie's district," he wrote.