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She was standing near a young Black male who was exchanging heated words with a white man with a long gun, a pistol, and a knife. When the man allegedly pushed a nearby young white woman, she told him to stop.

“He slapped the phone out of my hand and shoved me to the ground,” recalled the woman, who asked to be named only as Nicole to protect her privacy. “He held the knife by his shoulder like he was ready to stab me. If I moved a muscle, I thought he was going to stab me. There was no one holding him back.”

Nicole remembered picking up her phone as a friend said, “We have to go. We have to go.”

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The day started out tense for Nicole and Kambrie Graue. They were prepared to hear racist rhetoric while protesting a Confederate monument in Weatherford but were not ready to experience the violence.

Nationwide protests over the past two months have arisen in response to police killings of unarmed Black men and women and President Donald Trump’s divisive rhetoric and actions. Trump’s tirades against non-white Americans have driven a new generation of activists to target symbols of racism, like Confederate monuments. In response, often armed and often white counter-protestors are taking to the streets to defend the monuments to the Civil War losers and support law enforcement.

Nineteen-year-old Graue’s boyfriend, a Black man, attended Weatherford High School and had lots of stories to tell about his time there, when he was routinely verbally attacked with slurs like “Who let the monkey off the chain?” and “I will kill all the [n-words] in the school.”

Graue, an active supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement, was tasked with arriving at the Parker County Courthouse at 2 p.m. that Saturday. Successive Black Lives Matter groups from Fort Worth and Dallas were scheduled to arrive in coordinated waves for a planned march and protest near the Confederate monument near the Parker County Courthouse late that afternoon.

Supporters of the Confederate monument were preparing a counter-protest and began arriving by the hundreds. As a nearby parking lot began to fill with trucks, rifles were pulled and Confederate flags were unfurled. Around that time and near the Tarrant County Courthouse, Nicole prepared to join Graue. The morning and afternoon had seen hundreds of Fort Worthians march in support of law enforcement (“ Hundreds Rally for the Police Downtown,” July 25).

“There were altercations but no physical attacks,” she said, referring to the Fort Worth rally. As Nicole and fellow BLM members with Enough Is Enough prepared to drive to Weatherford, another group, We Take the Streets, was beginning the same trek from Dallas.

After arriving at Cherry Park, which was within walking distance of the monument, Nicole saw Graue and a small group of protesters heading toward the park. One Black Lives Matter organizer told the Fort Worth and Dallas protesters that a large counter-protest group had formed. Violence was likely, the protesters were warned.

As members of Enough Is Enough, We Take the Streets, and other groups approached the monument after 5:30 p.m., Kambrie and Nicole recounted being assaulted by a crowd (which the women described as a “mob”) during clashes that lasted around 30 minutes. Facebook Live videos corroborate all of the accounts.

After the knife was pulled on Nicole, Graue was blindsided by a white woman during an altercation that Graue described as an unprovoked attack. Minutes later, a white man allegedly grabbed Graue by the throat and threw her to the ground. Shaken and terrified, Graue stayed near protesters as counter-protestors threw water bottles at their group and called the Black men the n-word and the white female protestors n-word “lovers.”

The third and final assault yet again came by surprise, Graue said. To endure the screams of hatred being hurled at her, she closed her eyes. When she opened them, a white man lunged for her sign and hit her lip. Nearby, Graue’s boyfriend deescalated a situation when a white man held a knife to his hip.

The overwhelming number of counter-protesters pushed Graue, Nicole, and the Black Lives Matter members up Palo Pinto Street and away from the monument.

“The Confederates continued to follow us,” Graue recalled, referring to the supporters of the Civil War losers.

As the protesters marched with no police protection, cars revved their engines nearby and verbally threatened to run over the men and women, Graue said. Back at the park, trucks sporting racist flags drove around the regrouped protesters.

Back at Cherry Park at around 6 p.m., the protesters were advised not to directly head home to avoid being targeted. Nicole continually checked her rearview mirror as she drove east toward Fort Worth. The next day, she turned off social media and did her best to process the hatred and racism that she had witnessed and documented. Images of snipers and other civilians aiming firearms at unarmed teenagers continue to disturb her.

The day following the violence, Nicole told herself that she would never place herself in that situation again. Her views have changed.

“Yesterday, I would have said I was not going back,” she said. “This is bigger than a Confederate monument. This about dismantling hate that people have for Black people.”

26 COMMENTS

  1. Don’t tear cities up and this won’t happen. The word was you were coming to tear down the monument. That is not peacefully protesting. This movement has hurt race relations nation wide. It is sad we can’t just treat others the way we want to be treated without provoking hatred as this behavior does.

    • Exactly ! We have all seen how the ones coming to tear down monuments act. They are not innocent like this makes them out to be. You have no right to tear down monuments and set things on fire and destroy things. Oh, and let’s don’t forget how there has been people attacked and even killed by people like this woman claiming to be so innocent.

    • Of all the riots in the country you want to talk about one where people were sick of out of town Marxist coming to start trouble with theaters and were whipped? The offenders were chastised about throwing first punches but plenty occurred from both sides. In Cleburne where threats of violence against property and citizens were made by ANTIFA and the BLM the protesters were allowed to still come outnumbered several hundred to one and freely express themselves without being molested or accosted in any way. So let’s now talk about the threats and all the locations where innocent people and property were violated by the BLM and ANTIFA. I’m waiting! 🇺🇸

  2. It’s funny to me that the video you claim backs everything must have been edited! The video I seen clearly showed the BLM member taking first swing the got hit in defense. I will not argue pulling a knife can’t be defended being pulled on a woman. It’s amazing how we as a community let a few divide us like this. We had several protest on the square on both sides and did not see anything like what we had happen! The reason it escalated was due to the Enough is Enough group that has a history that can be confirmed from news footage of disruption of business and instigating violence! We need as a community no outsiders meet up and sit and talk like adults and and get a view from both sides with the same amount of people from Weatherfod to be there.

    • Wow FW WEEKLY I expected more out of you. This is not only irresponsible reporting as these are not the facts and you only interviewed one side . Biased much? Both sides had some issues . But again I am sure you only want to report the side that fits your narrative . How sad and disappointing

  3. Marxist lies all of it….The good people of Parker county will never buy your fake news it’s all one sided garbage…respect the monuments of the soldiers of both sides in that war that nearly destroyed our country!and all you Marxist racial agitators go live in Cuba or China if you love communism so much.

    • No the good people of Parker county are fully aware of the racism that’s in their county. Communism! So if someone has lived in a town their whole life, paid taxes, and sent their kids to school there, they are a communist for using their First Amendment right to remove a statue that is hurtful to them?

  4. I was there. FW Weekly is fake news. Spinning the narrative!
    I went to protect my town and the local businesses. Peaceful protest doesn’t always turn out that way. (Portland OR) Tempers were high but bringing people in from out of town to protest a statue that is in the throws of getting moved anyway, just sounds like trouble. Name calling came from both sides. And a very small scuffle doesn’t not make it violent. Don’t believe their lies!

  5. A lot staged drama by the outside protesters while the cameras are rolling.Hard-working Americans just don’t want their city destroyed like the hate groups have done all over the country.When people look for trouble they usually find it and this seems to be the case here

  6. When news agencies only show one side of the story they are promoting propaganda. BLM, and its leader ship are all communist Marxist. When will people wake up to this.

    • Oh sure, all the video is lying. There is a sinister plot by the FW Weekly to lie to the public and make you poor Confederate flag waving people look like racists. No one would ever think a bunch of people screaming the n word at people are racists until the media tells them what to think. Because we all know the FW Weekly is so liberal. You are the poor victim of those scary protesters that you out numbered 10-1. And everyone knows that if you stand up to racism you must be a pinko commie!

  7. We live here and happened upon it…the protesters walked protested but did not do any damage and were out numbered about 60 to 1…AR-15s on every corner everyone armed to the hilt and the counter protest was the absolute saddest thing I have ever seen from adults cursing insulting trying to provoke an altercation. Most of the protesters appeared to be younger than the rabid counter protest crowd. I am 55 mother of 6 grandmother of 17 I have never witnessed anything like this…like every Klan movie I have ever seen…just with no hoods. I just thank God no car backfired or there would’ve been a total firestorm and many deaths…can not believe this is what our nation and small town has come to. A house divided will fall…and the US has fallen….pray for God to have mercy on us all.

  8. I call BS!!! First of all this is fake news and secondly BLM has started all the violence everywhere so please quit trying to blame white people. Look in the mirror at your racist actions.

  9. Full of lie and a strategy to spread hate.

    Parker county isn’t stupid like the rest of you. Weather the mayor backs us or not we will meet force with force every damn time!

    Keep spreading rumors and u pencil pushers really are going to start a civil war… the blood will be on the media’s hands.

  10. There is so much hate and racism in Weatherford, always has been. The only difference between the KKK rallies and happened last Saturday are the missing purple and white robes. I hate that our town has made national news because of racism but I’m also happy all these people are being exposed for that they are. If they don’t like being called racists, maybe they shouldn’t act like racists.

  11. Do the people making the previous comments think they’re doing anything to help their case that this town isn’t supremely racist?? It blows my mind that an UNEDITED VIDEO OF PROOF can still be written off by you people. Keep fighting the good fight with the movement my friends. And please please please try to stay out of harms way. It’s clear the sympathy from your opposers will be entirely lacking as they lack basic human decency and empathy.

  12. I’m not surprised. This is a town that had yearly KKK parades through town while I was in high school there. The KKK handed stuff out to everyone they could at First Monday every month for years. This kind of racism doesn’t surprise me in the slightest.

    • I really don’t think you are old enough to actually know this to be a fact. Maybe you dreamed this happened, or just want to tell tales. Provide proof of these parades, please. And yes, I am a very long time Parker Co. resident with no rexollection of this occipurring, and I am not young!

      • It absolutely happened! I was there and I’ll never forget how friendly the police officers were to the men in hoods. I’m pretty sure the one I saw was in 1990.

  13. The outside groups came in full tactical gear with guns, baseball bats and chains. It wasn’t only Parker County citizens who had guns. There are photos proving this. Not defending either side, but FW Weekly isn’t giving all the facts. The protestors came to do damage. But, the bigger issue was the local govt. already knew the statue was coming down and hadn’t made it public. If they had, the whole situation might have been diffused.

  14. What I find really sad is all the victimhood and poor me platform Mr. Crawford and his protesters have received from the print, digital and news media when in all reality it did not happen that way at all. He invited the Enough is Enough group that has been terrorizing Montgomery Plaza and downtown Ft. Worth and other outsiders into our town to wreak havoc here. The citizens of Parker County are not racists, we are pretty much a quiet peaceful town until you threaten to come take something that has been a part of our history for over 105 years. Mr. Crawford invited outsiders in and while some words were exchanged, and a few little skirmishes broke out, it was not Portland, however had anything serious happened, I would place blame squarely on his shoulders. For weeks we have been protesting locally without incident, but that wasn’t sufficient for Mr. Crawford, he wanted to force the hand of the City of Weatherford and/or the Commissioners and now they have spoken, and yet still, the threats keep coming. This is exactly what we were saying before, even had we had to move the statue, it would not have appeased the mob-mentality, it will never be enough. Mr. Gray, an associate of Mr. Crawford isn’t giving all the facts either to FW Weekly, he had been in talks to have the statue moved with Judge Deen and Judge Deen had been pressuring the UDC to move it because of threats on her life. If. Mr. Crawford knew the statue was going to be moved and not making it known to the public, why did he feel the need to bring these outsiders in to stir up trouble? He had to have known when they put out the flyers requesting people show up for the protest and after what people had seen happen in Montgomery Plaza it would at least raise a stir. Standing up for your community does not make us racist, standing up for history does not make us racist, however, you printing a one-sided story keeps fueling the hate, perpetuating and dividing communities like Weatherford, TX

  15. I wasn’t there but I believe every word of this article because I grew up in Weatherford and this behavior is typical. Just give that crowd a keg of beer and it looks like half the parties I attended in high school. I’ll never forget watching a KKK march in front of that same courthouse way back in the old days of 1990. I remember watching the police carry on with men in KKK hoods the way friends do. I remember wishing my encounters with the police were that friendly. The women above me commented that Tony Crawford is trying to divide the community. To her I say try being a person of color, especially a black man growing up Weatherford. I promise you will have a very different experience. When I lived there you would have thought my name was “Hey Mexican” (followed by a snicker). I did not realize just how racist Weatherford was until I lived in a few other places.

  16. Wow, this comment section really brought all the racist cockroaches out with their cries of Marxism, Antifa, whataboutism, and BSAB bullshit. I grew up in Weatherford and was happy to get the hell out because it’s one of the most backwards places I’ve ever been. I see nothing’s changed. I once thought that the growth of the town would make a difference, because if you take away all the rednecks, racists, tweakers, and shitty cops, Weatherford is a nice little town. Now I realize it’s probably never going to change.

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