Scuffles between supporters and demonstrators broke out at yet another Donald Trump campaign rally on Monday night, with one Trump supporter shouting, "Light the motherfucker on fire," as a Black Lives Matter activist was dragged from the rally.
Speaking in Las Vegas one night before the fifth GOP presidential debate, Trump encountered "multiple protesters," BuzzFeed reported. But the most chilling episode, captured on video by BuzzFeed reporter McKay Coppins, shows the removal of protester Ender Austin III.
What happened: As Austin asks security officers to get their hands off of him, a woman repeatedly shouts, "Let him get up," before a man, identified by Coppins as a Trump backer, calls for violence against Austin:
Austin told Yahoo News after the incident that he's a Pentecostal minister and Black Lives Matter supporter. He began shouting during a portion of the Trump rally in which the father of a young man killed by an undocumented immigrant spoke and argued, "That's why we need Donald Trump."
Yahoo reports that Austin then responded, "That's why we need gun control! If there were no guns he wouldn't have got killed."
Trump's supporters "immediately used physical force" to counter him, Austin told BuzzFeed after the incident. "I absolutely was being disruptive, but as I was making statements I felt hands grabbing on me," he said.
What's more, Austin alleged, Trump supporters used vitriolic language not captured on Coppins' video. Austin told BuzzFeed that he "heard the N-word a couple of times," and in an interview with Yahoo, he said, "I heard 'Hail Trump!' several times as though it were a Nazi youth or Hitler Youth group meeting or something of that nature."
A disturbing pattern: This isn't the first such incident to break out at a Trump rally. During the candidate's appearance at a Birmingham, Alabama, rally last month, supporters violently attacked Black Lives Matter protester Mercutio Southall as Trump urged, "Get him the hell out of here!" Southall later said that a Trump supporter called him a "nigger," while others derided Southall and his fellow demonstrators as "monkeys."
Trump appeared unfazed by the episode, telling Fox News, "Maybe he should have been roughed up because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing."
The pooh-poohing of that incident came after Trump responded to the beating of a Hispanic man by two supporters by saying that his followers were "very passionate."
That much has never been in doubt, but Trump is inspiring passion in the fever swamps of the political fringe. Among the groups most supportive of his calls to deport undocumented immigrants and ban Muslims from entering the country are Neo-Nazis and white supremacists.
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Dec. 15, 2015, 11:10 a.m. Eastern: This story has been updated.