ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4 News) – A video has gone viral from a recent Black Lives Matter protest in St. George showing a man in an explosive outburst threatening and shoving a peaceful protester.
The video, which has amassed more than 4 million views on the app TikTok, shows an unidentified man appearing to push a protester before he walks into a busy intersection of Main Street and St. George Boulevard screaming at crowds to “prepare for war” and that “all lives matter.”
“What’s your problem buddy? Why are you touching me and why do you have a mask on when it’s over? Look into my eyes. Don’t you see that I’m a man and I will kick your ***?” the man appears to yell in the video, before telling protesters to “get back to work.”
St. George resident Trinity Francisco, who filmed the incident, tells ABC4 News it happened at Thursday night’s protests, a downtown gathering of nearly 800 people in the wake of the killing of George Floyd.
“I’ve always seen those types of videos go viral, and I never thought to myself that it would happen, especially here in St. George,” Francisco said. “Instead of being angry at them and going after them, it’s best to just educate them, you know?”
Francisco said she uploaded the footage to TikTok and later Twitter to aid in any police investigation.
St. George police officer Tiffany Atkin said the department is aware of the video but has not yet identified the man in it, adding that she commends the protesters’ peaceful response to his aggression.
“The protestor put his hands up. He was showing that he’s not gonna be aggressive in any way,” Atkin said. “None of the other protesters jumped in and aggravated it, so I think they did the right thing.”
Atkin said that while the man has the right to free speech and express his anger, the protesters should have the right to their free speech as well.
Authorities tell ABC4 News that unless the protester who appeared to be shoved by the man in the video wants to file charges against him, likely no charges will be filed.