Video shows man choke protester in Cookeville square

Crime Tracker

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Police have charged a man accused of choking a protester during a heated exchange Tuesday night in the Cookeville square.

Cell phone video captured by Emily Ely, and provided to News 2, shows a man scream “do you understand me?” at a small group of protesters gathered in downtown Cookeville. The protesters can be heard chanting, “*expletive* racism, *expletive* Nazis, *expletive* the KKK.”

The man then rushes up into the face of some protesters and repeats, “do you understand me?” One protester responds, “do you understand that you’re being racist?”

There is an exchange between the two and at one point, the man begins choking the protester, until people nearby are able to pull him off.

Ely, who captured the video, said she was eating nearby when she witnessed the situation getting tense, so she pulled out her phone and began recording.

“He walked up and said ‘if you bring the KKK’s name into this one more time, I’m gonna make you shut up.’ That’s when he started to turn around and they went into the same chant and as soon as he heard the word ‘KKK,’ he turned around and went over there and did a Homer Simpson choke on the boy,” Ely told News 2.

Cookeville police identified the man in the video as Kevin Pullum, 43, and said he was arrested on a charge of aggravated assault for choking the protester. He was booked into the Putnam County jail on a $7,500 bond.


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