GERMANTOWN, Tenn. — An exchange between a Black Lives Matter demonstrator and passerby quickly escalated Saturday in Germantown.
The exchange was captured on cell phone video and has gone viral on social media. As of Sunday afternoon, the video has over 500,000 views on Twitter alone.
Eddie Nelson told FOX13 he was standing at the intersection of West St. and Poplar Ave. Saturday afternoon holding up a Black Lives Matter sign. He said he usually holds up his sign on Poplar Ave. and Highland St. but decided to spread his message in Germantown on Saturday for the first time.
That led to an encounter he recorded with financial consultant Lloyd Crawford.
“Gave me the middle finger. Told me to go F myself and then he sped off. I gave him a middle finger back because, you know, give and take,” Nelson told FOX13.
Crawford told FOX13 Nelson initiated everything.
“He saw my Trump sticker. He exchanged a finger. I immediately responded. We both exchanged words. F words and he said bring it on,” said Crawford.
According to Nelson, after this first exchange, Crawford drove off. He said around 30 minutes later Crawford drove back toward him at the intersection of West and Poplar.
“He was like ‘Yo, I’m gonna take care of you, I’m going to take care of you.’ I said, ‘Ok, bring it on. Bring it on man. I’m right here. I’m in public. I’m not scared,’” Nelson told FOX13.
“He said, ‘Bring it on.’ I got mad. I pulled over. Approached him to discuss the matter with him and that’s what you see on the video,” Crawford said.
In the video Crawford can be heard asking Nelson if he’s from Germantown.
“But you’re sitting here in my town promoting your violence,” he said on the video.
“I got upset because the Black Lives Matter movement is a great movement. It’s accomplishing a lot of good things. Unfortunately, some members of that movement are utilizing it to phone in violence in other cities and elsewhere and that concerns me,” said Crawford.
“I work there and I pay taxes in Germantown,” Nelson told FOX13. “What does that matter? Is Black Lives Matter, does that stop at the city line? At the municipality?”
Crawford told FOX13 he’s now being portrayed as a racist.
“I’m not a racist. I didn’t mention one word about race in our conversation,” he said.
Crawford told FOX13 he would like to have a conversation with Nelson.
“I’d like to have a discussion as to exactly what he is planning to do in Germantown and what he’d like to see in Germantown,” Crawford said.
“I just don’t see what having a conversation with me would accomplish,” said Nelson. “I’m happy to, not that I have some sort of power or something, to be a mediator. If Lloyd, maybe he just doesn’t know the people to talk to. I would be happy to set that up,” Nelson said.
Nelson told FOX13 he has reached out to Crawford but the call wasn’t answered and he had to leave a message.
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