A couple in Middleburg, Florida spotted a man holding “Death to America” sign along the street and decided to take matters into their own hands, giving him “what he deserved,” and it was all caught on video. However, they completely missed the message on the other side of the sign.
As the man and woman drove past the Charles Brownett, they noticed his sign, and it’s safe to say they weren’t pleased. However, things may not have been as they first appeared because while the front of the sign read, “Death to America,” the back of it said, “Because of Obama’s policies.” Regardless, the duo was about to do something about Brownett and his sign.
— WPXI (@WPXI) March 31, 2016
The woman shouted at Brownett from the couple’s gray Nissan, “Why don’t you leave America?” to which he responded, “Give me some money,” the Clay County Sheriff’s Office report stated, according to The Blaze. However, things were quickly going to escalate beyond a shouting match.
After parking their car nearby, the couple walked back to where Brownett was standing with his sign, and the man, wearing an orange shirt, yelled, “Actually, I like that sign. Give it to me,” and things would all go downhill from there. A physical altercation ensued as the couple beat up the man and snatched his sign. The raw footage was captured by onlookers, and it may be disturbing to some viewers.
As seen in the footage, the man in the orange shirt tackled Brownett and wrestled with him as the woman, wearing a gray shirt, joined in the brutal attack. The female kicked Brownett several times before a fourth, unknown person attempted to separate the men. However, the man in the orange shirt used the opportunity to punch Brownett in the face several times, according to witnesses.
Although investigators have identified the pair who attacked Brownett, their names have not been released to the public and no charges have been filed because deputies have not yet made contact with the couple. However, the suspects could face up to a year in jail on battery charges. On the other hand, Brownett will face no charges as he was exercising his right to freedom of speech.
“He is in public area, where he has a right to be. He’s expressing an opinion that is his,” said Action News Jax Law and Safety Expert Dale Carson. “If he were encouraging some sort of violence or using prohibited language like the ‘F’ word or the ‘N’ word, then that could have had other ramifications.”
Brownett’s sign and the issue of freedom of speech are causing controversy among witnesses and social media users, some of which claim, “He got what he deserved.” The unidentified female making that statement further explained, “Come on, it’s America, you’re not going to hold a sign with all the terroristic attacks going around the world. No.”
The sentiments behind Brownett’s sign can only be assumed. Was he calling for “Death to America” or actually pointing out what’s already happening “because of Obama’s policies,” as his sign further stated on the reverse side? The other question would be, would it have made a difference to his attackers?
Like it or not, we do have the freedom of speech, and that does not include the freedom to not be offended. Brownett was well within his rights, and ironically, I don’t think his sign meant what witnesses think it did, but I’m only assuming based on the vague words alone. Regardless, you don’t get to beat up an innocent person in the street because you don’t like their sign. If you think that’s okay, you’re actually the one bring about “Death to America,” as you stomp out the constitutional rights of her citizens.