Senator David Perdue (R-Ga.) was caught on video snatching a phone from the hands of a student at Georgia Tech as he was being asked about the state’s racist and Republican-led suppression of minority voting rights.
Perdue was at the college campus to support Georgia’s Secretary of State and chief vote suppressor Brian Kemp (R), reported The Washington Post on Sunday.
Kemp was being sued by the Georgia chapter of the NAACP because over 53,000 voter applications from voters, 70% of them black, were on hold just one month before the elections.
Kemp was in a virtual tie in the Georgia governor race against Democrat Stacey Abrams.
An anonymous student member in Young Democratic Socialists of America confronted Perdue about Kemp while recording the Republican senator on his cell phone, the Post reported. The student was asking Perdue a question regarding his support for Kemp, the gubernatorial candidate and deliberate minority vote suppressor when Senator Perdue interrupted him rudely.
“Hey, so, uh, how can you endorse a candidate — ” said the student, before the video shakes and Perdue snaps, “I’m not doing that.”
“You stole my property,” said the student to Perdue. “You stole my property.”
“Alright, you wanted a picture?” replies the senator.
“Give me my phone back, senator,” says the student, in disbelief that a United States Senator is acting so immaturely.
Perdue ignores the student’s request then repeats, “You wanted a picture?”
He again asks to get his phone back and then the video corrects itself.
Senator Perdue then walks away through a large crowd.
“That’s U.S. Sen. David Perdue. U.S. Sen. David Perdue just snatched my phone because he won’t answer a question from one of his constituents,” said the student while trying to follow the rude senator.
“He’s trying to leave,” said the student. “He’s trying to leave because he won’t answer why he’s endorsing a candidate who’s trying to purge people from voting on the basis of their race.”
Today @sendavidperdue visited Tech to campaign for Kemp. A student tried asking a simple question about @BrianKempGA ‘s racist scheme to threaten voter registrations from black people, but before he could even finish the question, Perdue stole his phone. pic.twitter.com/K0iffU57Di
— YDSA Georgia Tech (@YDSAGT) October 13, 2018
Young Democratic Socialists of America in Georgia Tech told the Washington Post that they believe that Perdue accidentally stopped and then restarted the recording as he was hiding the student’s phone from him.
“Perdue walked into Georgia Tech’s backyard, and students aren’t allowed to ask him a simple question?” stated the group. “It would be one thing to say ‘no comment’ or inform us he’s not taking questions. Perdue would have been within his legal rights to simply walk away or decline the question. But instead, he forcibly, suddenly, and violently took their phone without justification or provocation.”
YDSA said the Georgia Tech student would’ve been arrested “on the spot” if the roles had been reversed.
“This behavior is shocking, appalling, and totally unbecoming of the supposedly hallowed office of U.S. senator,” said the group.