Man charged with assault on Black teen during Chapel Hill protest

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Tuesday, July 7, 2020
Man charged in altercation with BLM protester in Chapel Hill
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Man charged in altercation with BLM protester in Chapel Hill

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- Every Friday, for the past several weeks, demonstrators have stood outside of Binkley Baptist Church in Chapel Hill wearing masks, standing in a row six feet apart and pushing for change.

There have been peaceful Black Lives Matter demonstrations, but that changed.

"He punched her in the face and threw her to the ground," said eyewitness Michael Palmer.

Palmer said a white man began lashing out at a rally and then punched a 19-year-old Black woman in the face.

"I'm mystified. To me, it was just so shocking," said Palmer.

Palmer said the man walked over from a nearby apartment complex and started spewing insults before zeroing in on the teen.

"The fact that someone is willing to use violence to silence somebody (is upsetting). Basically, she was trying to respond to him and he didn't want to hear her thoughts, he resorts to violence," said Palmer.

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Chapel Hill police identified the man as Bart Mathison Moody, 53, of Durham.

He is charged with assault on a female.

Palmer said the recent event at his church exemplifies the importance of taking a stand against racism.

He said more people need to get involved in the movement and he is putting out a call for support on social media.

"We can't be quiet. We can't wait this out. We got to mobilize and address what's happening in our country against people of color," Palmer said.

There will be another rally July 10 at Binkley Church from 5-7 p.m.

Palmer hopes it will remain peaceful and spark meaningful conversation.