A man who was caught on cellphone video as he waved a loaded gun at a Black Lives Matter protester earlier this year in Newport Beach has been charged in the incident, prosecutors said Friday.
Travis Patrick White, a 48-year-old Newport Beach resident, is facing one count of brandishing a firearm in public and one count of possession of a loaded firearm in public, both misdemeanors, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.
The charges carry a maximum possible sentence of two years in jail.
The allegations stem from video captured at a peaceful protest in memory of George Floyd on June 3.
In the footage filmed from a passing car, the man identified as White is seen shirtless, holding a gun high over his head while walking backward down sidewalk.
White pulled out the loaded semi-automatic firearm and cocked it following a verbal altercation, prompting bystanders to begin filming, the DA’s office said.
Protester Shea Musiime said he was marching when he heard White “off on the sideline, saying some pretty ignorant things.” Prosecutors accuse White of screaming racial slurs.
When Mussime — who is Black — confronted White, he says White repeated what had offended him: “Black lives don’t matter.”
Mussime said that caused him to get aggressive with White, after which White pulled the gun from his backpack. But White ended up taking off, and the situation didn’t escalate further, according to Mussime.
The following day, White found out police were looking for him and turned himself in, officials said.
He was originally booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and criminal threats. Investigators were later seen carrying bags of evidence from his home.
White is a realtor in the area, but the company he worked for said it terminated him following the incident.
DA Todd Spitzer said he believes White went to the protest looking to spark trouble.
“This individual brought a gun to a peaceful protest,” Spitzer said in a statement. “He was looking for a confrontation and when confronted with opinions that he disagrees with he pulled out his gun.”
White’s arraignment is scheduled on Oct. 20.