by Josh Fatzick
A conservative reporter attended a Black Lives Matter rally Friday only to get continually harassed and accused of burning down churches, a video published Oct. 27 shows.
Reporter Adam Sharp attended the “Anti-Police Brutality Day” rally in St. Louis to write about the event for his website, The Gateway Pundit, but when he started filming, one attendee got miffed.
In the video, a man identifies himself as “Mike Lotek” casually walks up to Sharp and engages him, asking: “You haven’t been burning the churches on the north side, right?”
Sharp, clearly taken aback by the question, responds in a negative fashion.
“What the hell kinda question is that? Have you been burning the churches on the north side?” He asked the protester.
Over the course of just two weeks, seven churches in the St. Louis area were targeted by arsonists. Six of those seven churches were predominately black churches.
Lotek responds that he is not, in fact the person burning churches on the north side, and conversation devolves from there as Lotek struggles to put together consecutive, coherent sentences.
“Why are you here, you know the police are around a lot and it’s a national day against police brutality and you’re here looking suspicious,” Lotek said.
The two accuse each other again of being arsonists and Lotek eventually walks away.
“This allegation was of course rebuffed with the righteous indignation it deserved and the activist scurried back his his group of cohorts,” Sharp wrote in ablog post about the incident.
Shortly after, Sharp begins taking pictures of messages the protesters wrote on the sidewalk with chalk. One of them simply read “FTP,” which is short for fuck the police.
When Lotek sees the reporter snapping pictures, he springs back into action and inquires as to why Sharp is taking pictures.
Sharp explains that he is taking pictures of the sidewalk, and asks Lotek “what is your problem with me?”
Lotek tells Sharp he looks suspicious and like an informant for the police. The activists, who are planning the protest, Lotek says, are concerned about his intentions.
Eventually, Lotek admits that the whole issue is that Sharp is a white man observing the Black Lives Matter protest.
“You probably talk about how you want racial barriers to come down and all this talk about race not to happen, and you’re here … and it’s because those are the kinds of things that become inferred when a white man is standing back here like this,” Lotek said.
“So it’s a race thing?” Sharp asks.
“Yes … Do you feel oppressed now?” Lotek responds.
The protest came as part of a nationwide call to stop police brutality last week, in which several cities across the country saw large demonstrations.