Elderly veteran embarrassed after shoving black protester at Trump rally — but insists he’s ‘not racist’
An elderly veteran said he regrets his role in a melee earlier this month at a Donald Trump rally in Louisville.
Viral videos show Al Bamberger, who is wearing is Korean War Veterans Association Chapter 4 shirt and hat, join white nationalists as they shove and scream at a black protester during Trump’s March 1 rally.
The 75-year-old Bamberger, who lives outside Cincinnati in Bright, Indiana, said he was embarrassed by his actions and sent a letter of apology to the president of his veterans group.
He told WSCH-FM that the rally had been peaceful until Trump took the stage, but he said the Republican candidate’s appearance sparked a confrontation between Black Lives Matter protesters and white nationalists in the crowd.
Bamberger said a protester knocked him to the ground, and he lost his jacket and became agitated.
“Trump kept saying ‘get them out, get them out’ and people in the crowd began pushing and shoving the protestors,” Bamberger said. “Unfortunately a lot of this behavior was happening right next to where I was standing and having been pushed to the floor myself, my emotions got the best of me, and I was caught up in the frenzy. I physically pushed a young woman down the aisle toward the exit, an action I sincerely regret.”
The veteran said there was no excuse for his behavior, and he was even more embarrassed after discovering the other men who shoved University of Louisville student Shiya Nwanguma were involved with white nationalist groups.
“I need everyone to know that I am not a racist as implied by many internet postings,” Bamberger said. “I am not associated with any type of racist organizations and did not push the young lady because she was black.”
Police are continuing to investigate the incident, but no charges have been filed. Joseph Pryor, another Indiana man who was shown attacking Nwanguma at the rally, was kicked out of the Marine Corps.
“I went to the rally to have a good time, support the veterans, and see Donald Trump,” Bamberger said. “Unlike the people that surrounded me at the event, whose main purpose was to cause chaos and create videos, I went there with no intention of participating in a confrontation and I deeply regret my involvement.”
He hoped his family and other members of his veterans group would accept his apology.
“I have embarrassed myself, my family, and Veterans,” Bamberger said. “This was a very unfortunate incident and it is my sincere hope that I can be forgiven for my actions.”