A viral video shows a Black woman viciously assaulted in a racially motivated attack by a white Jacksonville, Florida, man that left the victim traumatized. Kevin Williamson, 59, has been arrested and charged with battery, but the victim wants Williamson to face stiffer hate crime charges.
Rayme McCoy, 23, is still healing from a vicious attack last week after being beaten at a gas station in Jacksonville on May 16. McCoy says as she walked into the gas station for a routine gas station experience, she overheard Williamson yelling.
“He came in the store after me, and said the remark, go back to where y’all came from, and I’m tired of y’all kind,” McCoy said.
McCoy says Williamson directed his anger toward her and started berating her with racist comments, and then got in her face. “I was like, sir, can you just back up and he said he had his gun in his car and I said, I’ll call my dad,” McCoy said.
Surveillance video captured what happened next that left McCoy in complete shock as Williamson started hitting McCoy repeatedly in the face. The aftermath of the assault left the 23-year-old bruised and swollen on parts of her face and eyes.
“She’s obviously still traumatized by this event and is still going through it as you can plainly see,” said Ben Frazier, civil rights activist and founder of North Florida Coalition, who is also advocating for McCoy.
Frazier draws a connection between what happened to McCoy and what happened just two days earlier in Buffalo, New York, when another white man unleashed a racist attack killing 10 Black people inside a grocery store.
“We recognize there is a direct connection between what happened in Buffalo and what happened in Jacksonville, Florida,” Frazier said.
Frazier says racial violence has been part of the America’s history for generations. This coincides with recent Justice Department data that shows anti-Black hate crimes and incidents spiking since 2020, far surpassing any other racial or ethnic group.
Data released last year shows anti-Black hate crimes reaching 2,871 reported incidents, which is up from 2019 figure of 1,930 reported incidents. Reported anti-white hate crimes and incidents were 869, Anti-Latino hate crimes and incidents were 517, Anti-Asian hate crimes and incidents were 279.
“To be attacked brutally and viciously by a white man who had nothing on his mind but perpetuating the kind of racism and discriminatory violence and terror,” Frazier said.
Both McCoy and Frazier say they want Williamson to face federal hate crime charges for the attack. “We’re demanding that the FBI investigate this, and the Justice Department call it exactly what it is; it is in fact a hate crime,” Frazier said.
“I just hope he actually gets charged,” McCoy said.
Jacksonville Sheriff’s deputies arrested Williamson on Friday, four days after the attack, and charged him with battery for the attack and was booked into a pre-trial detention facility. WJXT reported Williamson appeared before a judge on May 21, and was ordered to be held on a $20,000 bond.