Social video shows ‘racist’ taunting of Nevada governor, his wife | Radio WGN 720


LAS VEGAS (AP) — The governor of Nevada and his wife were accosted over the weekend by two men who followed them out of a Las Vegas restaurant shouting profanity, taunts and anti-government statements during a an incident published on the Internet.

In a statement released Monday by his re-election campaign, Gov. Steve Sisolak, a Democrat, called Sunday night’s incident a “racist threat.” His wife is a former municipal finance specialist of Chinese origin born in the city of Ely in Nevada.

A separate media message released by Sisolak’s press secretary, Meghin Delaney, called the governor “deeply disappointed with how this incident unfolded, particularly the language used to speak about the legacy of the First Lady Kathy Sisolak”.

The Sisolaks, who were not accompanied to the restaurant by a state security agent, were going to meet his daughter. The incident is now being investigated by state police.

“We may disagree on the issues, but personal attacks and threats are behavior that is unwarranted, unwelcome and unbecoming to the people of Nevada,” its message read.

Cellphone video posted to social media showed more than a minute of an encounter beginning with a man wearing a red ‘Cannabis and Fighting’ t-shirt rising from a table, asking Sisolak for a photo, posing with his arm around Sisolak, then calling the governor a string of epithets.

The man is identified in news reports and social media as Justin Andersch, a self-proclaimed “digital creative” who promotes far-right anti-government conspiracy theories on a blog titled “Cannabis and Combat.”

A phone number that could have been associated with Andersch was out of service on Monday.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that it obtained cellphone video of the incident on Sunday. The newspaper described the meeting as “violent threats”.

The Las Vegas Sun reported that Andersch took credit for it.

The video posted on Instagram brings together scenes from two points of view, including one from the point of view of the man in the red t-shirt.

“Where’s your security, punk, huh?” the man asks, pointing his cell phone at Sisolak’s face. As Kathy Sisolak joins the Governor heading for the door, the man follows them, stating, “You work for China (expletive).”

Another man seen pushing a child away as he gets up from a restaurant stall follows, calling Sisolak a traitor. The man says the Governor should be hanged, then turns around and walks back to the restaurant.

“We should tie you up by a lamppost right now,” the man in the red T-shirt said, following Sisolak and telling him, “You run into a patriot now.”

The video ends in the parking lot. Sisolak’s daughter, Ashley Sisolak, a lawyer and public defender, rushes to the Governor and his wife near their vehicle and the man turns away.

“Because your daughter is with you, I’m going to leave you alone now,” he said.

Ninfa Magana, manager of the Lindo Michoacan restaurant in Summerlin, west of the Las Vegas Strip, said she saw the encounter. She noted the number of families with children in the crowded restaurant at the time.

“It was something very shocking to see and see,” Magana said. “We respect everyone’s opinion. He was with his family and they attacked him. I felt so bad for everyone who witnessed this.

The man who berated Sisolak left soon after, Magana added.

Nevada State Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Kim Yoko Smith confirmed that state police are investigating. She declined to comment.

Las Vegas and Nevada have seen several incidents of alleged hate crimes in recent months, and an elected official in rural Nye County said last August without evidence that Kathy Sisolak had family members in China who profited from the sale of articles related to the coronavirus pandemic.

The claim echoed a recurring conspiracy theory espoused by some Republicans and anti-Sisolak, anti-mask activists.

Kathy Sisolak was budget manager for Clark County and worked as a public sector financial consultant as the founder of the Las Vegas firm Hobbes, Ong & Associates before she and Steve Sisolak tied the knot in 2018.


Comments are closed.