Privilege is one hell of a drug. It’s likely what prompted a white doctor in Louisville, Kentucky, to aggressively grab a young, Black girl by the neck after he saw that she and a group of friends were not practicing safe social distancing measures. The concerning scene was caught on video and went viral on social media over the weekend.
The middle-aged white man, who can be seen at the start of the video walking with his wife before going on the attack, was arrested on Tuesday night. In a Facebook post, the Louisville Metro Police Department identified the assailant as Dr. John Rademaker and charged him with strangulation in the first degree and harassment with physical contact, along with two other counts. The Washington Post reports that Rademaker is a physician in the Louisville area and has been placed on leave from his job.
Over the weekend, the video of the attack, which took place on Friday night at the Norton Commons amphitheater in Louisville, was widely circulated on Reddit. In the footage, Rademaker’s wife confronts a group of nine teens, shoving her phone in their face. Moments later, her husband begins strangling one of the teens, a young, Black girl, as she was on the ground. Local reports say that Rademaker and his wife also shoved and hit a number of other teens, in an attack that they are calling “social-distance shaming.”
In a statement to local media outlets, the Louisville police department said, “We do not advise individuals concerned about social distancing to take matters into their own hands and confront people about it, especially in any physical way.”
Rademaker was released on his own recognizance on Tuesday, according to Louisville media outlet WDRB. Court records indicate that he will be arraigned on May 8.