A black Republican volunteer working at a polling place in North Carolina says he was confronted by three white people hurling racial epithets at him and making threats.
Volunteer Derek Partee on Wednesday posted photos on his Facebook page showing two men and a woman, all heavily tattooed and dressed in shirts decorated with skulls, saying they were calling him a ‘N*****’ and a ‘Black piece of s***,’ and that one of the men pointed a gun at him.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said the armed suspect, later identified as 28-year-old Jason Wayne, was carrying a BB gun.
Wayne was arrested on Wednesday evening on charges of going armed to the terror of the people, ethnic intimidation, communicating threats, and disorderly conduct.
Local police are working with the FBI to see whether it would be appropriate to bring federal charges against Wayne.
Investigators also have identified the man and woman who accompanied Wayne to the polling place, but the pair will not be facing any charges because police said they violated no laws.
Partee, a former homicide detective from New York who has lived in Charlotte for the past six years, told the Raleigh News & Observer that he was working at the Steele Creek polling place on Wednesday afternoon when he saw three people taking pictures outside.
The GOP volunteer approached the suspects’ car to write down their license plate number when one of the men, later identified as Wayne, got out of the vehicle and angrily confronted Partee, calling him a ‘mother****er.’
The 28-year-old had some words with Partee about the latter’s party affiliation, but he said ‘they didn’t care whether I was a Democrat or a Republican, they just cared that I was black.’
When asked by Fox 46 how Wednesday’s incident made him feel, Partee replied: ‘it made me feel sad, [disgusted]and very sorry for our country.’
Police tracked down Wayne shortly after 9pm and arrested him without incident. They also seized the BB gun that he was wearing in a holster.
Police in Charlotte are conducting scheduled zone checks at all polling places through the midterm elections on November 6.
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