Georgia state Sen. Robert Brown drew fire this week when he quipped that the state GOP was filled with KKK members. Now he's under fire again after a person who accompanied him to a press conference to clear up those comments brutally attacked a local photo journalist:
The local paper The Telegraph says the Senator denies being associated with the attacker, despite walking into the press conference building with him:
A man apparently accompanying state Sen. Robert Brown to a hurriedly called Thursday news conference attacked and injured Telegraph photographer Woody Marshall at Macon City Hall, prompting conflicting stories from those involved.
Reached shortly after the incident, Brown said, “The person in question is not associated with me. I’ve got one person on my staff, and that was not him. This is not something I would be associated with. I did not physically see the altercation. I do not know the person, nor is he associated with me. Other than that, I’ve no specific comment on this matter.”
But Brown clearly knew the assailant’s father, and the assailant himself said he was acting in defense of Brown.
Brown, a Macon Democrat and the Senate minority leader, called the news conference at noon to issue a statement about his dispute with state Rep. Alan Peake, R-Macon, about inflammatory but vague comments Brown made during the taping of a TV show earlier in the week. He walked into City Hall with two men trailing a few feet behind. Serving to muddle events further, all three are named Brown: a middle-aged man in glasses and a dark jacket, later identified as C.J. Brown; and a very large younger man in a red T-shirt -- C.J. Brown’s son Malik El Brown, 28.
C.J. Brown said they’re not actually related to the senator and don’t work for him, but he failed to explain why they showed up at the news conference together.
But C.J. Brown admitted that the pair regularly attends events with the Senator to "help Robert out." That help, he said, required physical security because the photographer "blew right past us and hit Robert" as the Senator was trying to quickly leave the press conference.
But that's not what photographer Woody Marshall said happened.
“As I was trying to go around Brown, he pushed me -- gave me a hip check to the left,” Marshall said. “The next thing I know, the guy in the red shirt was on me.”
When the attacker, Malik Brown, was reached for comment, he defended his actions. “I did what I did because I thought he was trying to attack Mr. Brown. I really don’t have much to say. I’m driving,” he said.
Marshall gave an on-camera interview to the Telegraph shortly after the incident:
Malike Brown has been arrested by Macon police. Officials have not yet detailed the charges against him.