Army vet, candidate for Congress attacked while trying to stop brutal beating of gay Black man who was protesting the murder of North Dakota man

Screenshots from the video below


Grace Zokovitch

Boston Herald

Two men have been taken into custody following a brawl between protestors — including a congressional candidate — and four other men outside a political event featuring the “Squad” congresswomen, the Somerville Police Department said Sunday.

The police were called after a verbal dispute between two protestors, identified as Richard Cadigan-McCarron and Shawn Nelson, and the group of men escalated into a physical confrontation after 4 p.m. behind the Somerville Theatre, the department said.

Two of the men fighting the protestors, Foster Starkes of Cambridge and Andwain Coleman of Cuyahoga, Ohio, have been charged with assault and battery with a deadly weapon, according to the department. The weapons were not identified.

Police confirm one of the protestors was taken to the hospital. Nelson was treated at Cambridge Hospital for scrapes — visible on his face and leg in one video posted to social media — and a broken toe, Cadigan-McCarron said.

The sold-out event at Somerville Theatre, titled “An Evening with the Squad,” was in progress when the incident occurred Saturday afternoon.

The event featured performances by local artists and a roundtable with U.S. Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Cori Bush, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib mediated by author and activist Ibram X. Kendi.

Donnie Palmer, a Republican congressional candidate challenging Pressley, organized a protest of the event to raise awareness of the alleged murder of a young conservative man in North Dakota, according to a MassGOP statement.

Palmer, a professional heavyweight boxer and Army veteran, can be seen joining the brawl in one video.

The men “had to be stopped before they hurt more bystanders, so I obliged,” Palmer said in a statement.

“Violence is never the answer,” Palmer continued, accusing “radical progressives” of instigating the incident.

Neither man arrested has ties verified by the Herald to the congresswomen or event.

Pressley’s team did not respond to requests for comment Sunday.

Both Starkes and Coleman are scheduled to be arraigned in Somerville District Court.

The incident remains under investigation by Somerville Police, the department said.

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