In the nation’s capital, Maxim Smith, who is white, bashed a Black man, Ketchazo Paho, in the head with a bicycle lock. The wound was so deep that he needed 18 stitches.
Paho, age 34, said he was driving in Georgetown early Monday morning. He said Smith was on a bicycle blocking the middle of the road, so he honked at him. Smith then hit Paho’s car with an object as he drove past him.
When Paho exited the car to check for damage, he said Smith repeatedly yelled the “N-word” at him. Smith went up the street and came back, and Paho then held on to Smith’s bike as he called 911.
“I’m holding his bike, because he just damaged my property,” Paho told WJLA. “Like, ‘You’re not going to leave.’ And that’s why he hit me.”
Smith was arrested by The Metropolitan Police Department. The 24-year-old is facing an assault with a dangerous weapon charge. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Thursday morning.
News of Paho’s attack began circulating on social media Tuesday. Writer and social activist Shaun King tweeted:
“Meet Ketchazo Paho. An American citizen of Cameroonian descent and an aeronautic engineer. He was targeted and assaulted by a white supremacist in Washington, D.C.”
Smith’s use of violence against Paho, in addition to calling him a racial slur, only highlights the potential for more violence at the second Unite the Right rally and events planned for Saturday and Sunday in Washington, D.C.
Exactly one year after the deadly rally in Charlottesville, Va., many of the same KKK groups, Neo-Nazis and other right-wing groups are planning, once again, to come together to promote hate.
Last year, a white supremacist plowed his car into a crowd of counter-protesters killing Heather Heyer and injuring more than a dozen people.
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According to the Unite the Right 2 website, the main rally will begin at Lafayette Park at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
S. Lee Merritt, an attorney, posted on Facebook that Paho contacted him after the attack. Merritt warned residents that the violence he expects during the rally this weekend has “already begun.”
“The so-called “Alt Right”— a consortium of degenerate white supremacist, Neo-Nazis, Confederates and Klansmen— are converging on the nation’s capital this weekend. Random, unprovoked acts of violence against people of color have already begun,” he wrote.
He added, “Every measure possible must now be taken to ensure that D.C. does not see a repeat of the violence of last year.”
Merritt said his law firm is seeking a hate crime charge against Smith. He also said that “Paho, who is 6’4 and 260 lbs., recalls having to suppress the urge to retaliate against the violent attack by his assailant.”
Paho “understood, that in this country, even a measured retaliatory response to an unprovoked assault by a white man would more than likely result in his arrest … or worse,” Merritt wrote.