Only in Essex County, New Jersey, can a top level Democrat quite literally beat up a blind senior citizen half his size, and the story gets virtually swept under the rug.
The Chairman of the Essex County Democratic Committee, Leroy Jones, has been charged with assaulting an elderly poll worker at a polling station in East Orange on June 2, the day of the primary election. The attack took place at The Brookside, a senior citizen center, and was captured on surveillance video. After the assault took place, the victim was reportedly brought to East Orange VA Hospital on Tremont Avenue.
The victim of the assault, Bill Graves, is a 75 year-old Army veteran.
He is also legally blind.
As for motive, Graves essentially claims that Jones sought him out at the polling station over the fact that Graves was backing a political candidate that he did not support, and Jones angrily confronted him over it.
Meanwhile, Leroy Jones claims, “This man threatened my wife. This man assaulted my wife. This man charged at my wife”.
Therefore, apparently we’re expected to believe that a legally blind senior citizen, with no apparent motive, arbitrarily decided to attack a woman at a public venue, and Jones was just stepping up to defend his wife’s honor.
Strangely, there don’t seem to be any witnesses who can corroborate Jones’ version of the story. A man attacks a woman inside a polling station, a very public venue – on election day, no less – and nobody sees this attack take place?
It also defies belief that if Graves had actually attacked his wife, Jones would merely pull Graves aside into a quiet hallway to “have a civil conversation with him” about it, rather than reacting on the spot to his wife being assaulted, as he alleges.
Ladies and gentlemen, if it doesn’t make sense, it’s not true.
It’s clear that Leroy Jones had a reasonable motive and a pattern of using intimidation in his political tactics, whereas the victim, Bill Graves, had neither.
Whether premeditated or in the heat of a spontaneous confrontation, one only need to watch the video to conclude that the intention of Jones was to substantially injure Graves, a disabled, physically weaker senior citizen. It’s reasonable to surmise that his motive for doing so was that he saw Graves as a man who wasn’t on board with his own political agenda, and Graves wasn’t willing to be intimidated. Hence, the escalation of the encounter.
Though there appear to be conflicting reports, Leroy Jones has apparently been charged with simple assault and disorderly conduct. Graves has not been charged with anything. Given that Jones is a physically imposing figure who repeatedly sucker-punched a blind senior citizen half his size in the face, my personal opinion is that minimally, he should be charged with a felony assault.
What is perhaps almost as disturbing as the attack is that for reasons unknown, it wasn’t until this week – a full 5 weeks later – that the story even began appearing in the local news. And, the amount of media coverage that did surface on the topic was underwhelming, to say the least.
Considering the utterly appalling and violent nature of the incident, this crime should have been front page news in every local paper. If this were a Republican in Essex County, no doubt this story would be playing on an endless loop, on every local news television station. I’m a political moderate who fully identifies with neither party (I vote the candidate, not the banner they’re waving), and I’m still confident this would be true.
A politically-explosive scandal involving *the* top-level Democratic figure in Essex County who sought out and physically attacked a blind, elderly poll worker during an election, and the story got squashed? How exactly does that happen?
We’ll be doing lots of follow up on this story in the days ahead. Don’t expect this outrage to disappear, folks.
Not on our Watch.
Here is the rather sparse major news coverage on the attack:
Disturbing video of NJ political official allegedly punching blind army veteran – Eyewitness News, ABC
This is the unedited surveillance footage:
Leroy Jones’ bio on the Essex County Democratic Committee website: