Earlier this month, Rayme Mccoy, 23, said a white man launched a racial-motivated verbal attack and punched her 10 times at a Jacksonville gas station. Mccoy took to Instagram to share footage of the brutal incident, which has now gone viral.
After the violent rampage, 59-year-old Kevin Troy Williamson was only charged with misdemeanor battery and is currently out on a $20,000 bond, News4Jax reports. However, Mccoy's lawyers, family, and various Black leaders want Williamson's charges upgraded to hate crime.
Civil rights activist Ben Frazier said, “It was in fact, appalling, savage, barbaric, vicious, and brutal. Miss Rayme McCoy was singled out because of her race." Frazier continued, “But its impact is much broader than that. What happened at that BP service station amounted to an attack on the very heart, body, soul, and consciousness of the greater Jacksonville community.”
According to News4Jax's original reporting on the incident, Mccoy said she was followed by an older white man into a service station. When the man, later identified as Williamson, approached the counter where Mccoy was standing, the 23-year-old told him to back up.
This sparked Williamson's attack on Mccoy. The 59-year-old allegedly spewed racial slurs, told the woman he had a gun in his car, and proceeded to throw a series of punches, which can be seen in the now-viral video.
"So at that point, I felt threatened," McCoy told News4Jax describing the incident. "He put his beers on the counter in front of my stuff and I slid them over and at that point, that’s when he started punching me in the face."
After being connected to the crime, Williamson, a registered sex offender, was arrested on May 20.
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said that no hate crime was committed, but it's ultimately up to the State Attorney's Office to decide if that charge will be pursued.
Attorney Randy Reep said about the case, “So the battery is an unwanted touching — that is easy to convince a jury of in this case. That woman did not invite the punches that she received.” Reep added, “But if you add in the hate crime element like we saw in the Mr. Arbery case up in Georgia, you’re adding in now a racial animus as the motivating factor to do that battery — it becomes a harder thing to prove. There’s a new element in the story to prove.”
During a press conference earlier this week, Mccoy's mother adamantly stated that "racism and hate" fueled Williamson's attack.
“As a woman, I am infuriated to know that a man would brutally attack a woman due to his own personal anger and rage. As a mother, you always want to make sure your children are safe,” Shefreea Williams said in a statement. “My heart aches knowing that I was unable to protect my daughter from this heinous crime. It disturbs me to know that my daughter now feels unsettled about entering a gas station alone. As a human, it saddens me that we still live in a world of racism and hate.”
Out on bond, Williamson's next court date is scheduled for June 10, First Coast News reports.
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