A white man wearing shorts and flip-flops carried a loaded AR-15 to confront a black man who was protesting a Confederate memorial in a Texas town.
Willie Hudspeth carried a sign reading, “Please move statue to Confederate museum. God said ‘Love everybody,'” during his protest Monday evening on the town square in Denton, reported the Denton Record-Chronicle.
The 69-year-old activist, who has protested the memorial for at least 15 years, said a younger man openly carrying a rifle confronted him as he spoke cordially with another resident who supported the Confederate memorial — which had been vandalized earlier that morning with graffiti that said, “This is racist.”
The younger man, who later identified himself as 22-year-old Stephen Passariello, strode up to Hudspeth and Adam Rinkleff while carrying the military-style rifle and shouted “counterprotest.”
Police arrived shortly after that and told Passariello he needed a sling for his weapon so it would be more difficult to steal.
“I was encouraged to open carry with a sling, although it wasn’t required,” Passareillo said. “I was told that I can stay, but they would appreciate it if I got my sling so people wouldn’t feel so threatened.”