Shock video uploaded online shows a group of black men attack two white individuals Sunday in a Salt Lake City parking lot after a verbal altercation over a truck’s Confederate flag decal.
KSTU-TV reported that authorities said the incident, which took place outside a Red Lion Hotel early in the morning, could be investigated as a hate crime.
The violence unfolded after Kelly Leeper, who was watching his friend’s truck, noticed a group of black men near the vehicle. Leeper said there was about $50,000 worth of welding equipment in the back, KSTU reported. He went outside with his friend to check on things.
But that’s not what appeared to bother the men. It was the truck’s Confederate flag decal that caught their eye.
“The point is it’s my right to drive what any kind of vehicle I want. If I want to fly the Confederate Flag, it’s my right,” Leeper told KSTU.
WARNING: Video contains strong language and violence
The group of black men hurled vulgar slurs toward Leeper and his friend in the parking lot. When Leeper’s friend challenged the black men and suggested they leave, an unidentified individual knocked him out with one swift punch, KSTU reported.
“Oh s***!” a person watching the confrontation said.
The fight then intensified and Leeper was left alone to fight off the group of six. Cellphone video captured it all.
Authorities said a witness wrote down a partial plate number and that the vehicle will “probably” be tracked down with it.
Salt Lake Police Department spokeswoman Sgt. Robin Heiden told KSTU that it “could potentially be a hate crime.”
“We’ll then present all that to the district attorney who will make that final determination,” she said.