NOTE: This article includes explicit language as transcribed from video of the altercation being reported on.
A small Black Lives Matter protest in South Reno was met with violence last night at sundown.
Demonstrators gathered on the corner of South Meadows and Double R Boulevard on June 24. One of the protesters posted a video of part of the night, which included two men tearing a sign out of one protester’s hands, shoving others and touching one woman’s chest.
The person who posted the video did not respond for comment.
The video starts with two men dressed in blue engaged in a yelling match with the protesters, but there is no context for what led up to the altercation. One of the men appeared to have a firearm.
The video starts with one man in a blue face covering shouting, “Fucking n-**!” He then goes on to give one protester the middle finger, saying “Fuck you, I’m native.”
To his left is a man in a black mask who attempts to knock someone’s sign out of their hands. He then pushes his chest up against the protester and rips the sign out of their hands. The man briefly puts his hands on the protester but then backs off.
The person holding the camera shouts, “That’s assault!” and a different protester begins chanting, “Black Lives Matter.”
The man in the black mask responds, “All lives matter, motherfucker.” Those at the scene posted online that the two appeared to be intoxicated.
The man then tries shoving his way into the crowd. One person says, “You just touched my boobs,” and alleged that the man sexually assaulted her.
The crowd and the two men continue shouting back and forth for about a minute. One protester keeps shouting that there are children present.
Another protester said, “Get the fuck out of here man.” The man in the black mask turned to him, looked him up and down and yelled, “Fuck you!”
He then grabs the demonstrator and they start fighting one another. The other demonstrators broke up the fight, but the man in the black mask pushes a woman and keeps trying to lunge at the man. That’s when the video stops.
One of the two men was identified as an employee of Bruce MacKay Pump & Well Service, Inc.
A spokesperson said the company is aware of what happened last night.
“It has been brought to our attention this morning and we are working with the authorities and the local community to make sure that this is handled in the appropriate manner,” the spokesperson told This Is Reno. “Based on the actions in the video, that does not represent us as a company, and the values that we stand for, and we were greatly sorry that something like that has happened.”
This Is Reno asked the spokesperson if the men will be facing repercussions at work, and they said they did not want to comment.
The team members page on the company’s website was removed at some point today.
The Reno Police Department (RPD) received a complaint about the incident and began an investigation a few hours ago, according to RPD Lieutenant Robert Larson.
Larson said an RPD detective is working on gathering videos taken at the scene, and said there are no conclusions of the investigation, but the department is looking into potentially charging the men for battery and a hate crime.
UPDATE (June 26): The company said in a statement the employee has been terminated.
“With the recent events that have occurred, it is without a doubt that we have taken the correct actions to hold true to our values. We do not stand for violence or hateful acts,” the statement read.