Police: Man assaulted family with Black Lives Matter sign

LEWISVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A white North Carolina man has been accused of assaulting two people whose car displayed a homemade Black Lives Matter sign and another that honored Breonna Taylor, a Black woman who was killed in a police raid earlier this year in Kentucky.

The incident occurred Dec. 3 in Forsyth County, the Winston-Salem Journal reported Wednesday.

According to arrest warrants, Rod Steven Sturdy, 55, of Lewisville, faces two misdemeanor charges of simple assault and assault on a female. The warrants said Sturdy punched Olivia Pugh and her juvenile brother in the face.

Helen Parsonage, the family’s attorney, said the incident began when three people, including Pugh and her brother, were driving to a dental appointment. Parsonage said Sturdy tailgated the family’s car and then blocked it in a parking lot.

Parsonage said Sturdy hit Pugh and her brother in the face and used a racial slur.

Sturdy told the newspaper by phone that, “I’m going to court, and you can be there.” He also said he didn’t think the news media cared about the facts, before he hung up.

The car’s back windshield displayed a Black Lives Matter sign and a handwritten sign that said, “Prosecute the cops who murdered Breonna Taylor #SayHerName.”

Breonna Taylor was a Black woman who was fatally shot by Louisville, Kentucky, police in March as they executed a search warrant. Taylor’s death sparked protests over racial injustice and police brutality. Prosecutors in September said two officers who fired their weapons at Taylor were justified in using force to protect themselves after they faced gunfire from her boyfriend.


An earlier version of this article misspelled Forsyth County.

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