Kevin Fisher has been a staunch and vocal opponent to the planned Murfreesboro, Tennessee Islamic Cultural Center. In this video he responds quite strangely to a normal greeting from documentary film maker, Eric Allen Bell.
A well-known opponent of the proposed Islamic Center of Murfreesboro was hospitalized over the weekend following a verbal confrontation with a documentary filmmaker at a Tea Party event, all of which was caught on tape.
Mosque opponent Kevin Fisher can be seen — in a video posted on Youtube by documentarian Eric Allen Bell — telling Murfreesboro Police dispatchers that he was being “racially harassed.”
Watch the video by clicking here.
The video was recorded by Bell Saturday at the Rutherford County Tea Party’s Constitution Day event. It also shows Fisher asking a Murfreesboro Police dispatcher if he could “strike” Bell because he is within “arms reach.”
Bell, who is documenting the controversy surrounding the mosque, contends the only thing he said to Fisher was “Hi Kevin.” The documentary is tentatively entitled “Not Welcome.”
The latest controversy comes at a time of intense debate over the proposed mosque on Veals Road at Bradyville Pike. Hundreds packed into the Rutherford County courthouse last week to make their opinions about the mosque known.
Fisher, who could not immediately be reached for comment Monday, announced the same day that he and others had filed a lawsuit against the county in reference to the planning commission’s handling of the Islamic center. He is represented by attorney Joe Brandon, Jr.
The lawsuit called for a temporary injunction prohibiting further work at the mosque site until the issue could be resolved. Rutherford County Chancellor Robert Corlew denied the request for a restraining order to halt the construction Friday.
A Computer Aided Dispatch report on file at the Murfreesboro Police Department shows Fisher called 911 at 4:18 p.m. Saturday in reference to being “diabetic and feeling faint.” Fisher, a scheduled guest speaker at the event, also told the dispatcher that he was surrounded by four people who were reportedly harassing him.
The video recorded by Bell shows Fisher walking towards the Rutherford County Courthouse on the Public Square. Bell approaches Fisher and says “Hi Kevin.” Fisher responds “You are racially harassing me, leave me alone.”
Later, while on his cell phone, Fisher told dispatchers he was feeling “oppressed. I’m the only African American here …” Someone could be heard laughing in the background after Fisher made the statement.
Fisher then asked the dispatcher if he had the right to strike Bell, whom he said was within arms reach.
“Right now he is within arms reach,” Fisher said. “I have the legal right to strike him, can’t I? Then I suggest you get someone here as soon as possible because I don’t know what he might do.”
He then stressed to the dispatcher again that he was being harassed, the video shows.
“That’s racial,” he said. “I’m the only African American out here and he feels a duty to harass me.”
Read more of this story in Tuesday’s print edition of The Daily News Journal.
— Mark Bell, 615-278-5153
A NOTE TO READERS: Documentary filmmaker Eric Allen Bell is not related to The Daily News Journal reporter Mark Bell.