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NBA Player-Turned-Sacramento Mayor Punches Pie-Throwing Activist

The protestor was beaten to a “bloody pulp”

Outgoing Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson, whose time in office has been defined by political corruption, free speech tampering, and reports of sexual abuse, repeatedly punched a protester at a charity dinner event on Wednesday night.

According to the East Bay Express, 32-year-old Sean Thompson approached Johnson during the meal and “tagged” his face with a coconut cream pie. “He looked at me for a moment and then he started swinging,” Thompson later told the Sacramento Bee. “Then a bunch of other people joined in and started swinging on me.”

Reports say Mayor Johnson punched Thompson more than half a dozen times, beating him to a “bloody pulp.” The pie-thrower was expected to be charged Friday with felony assault.

Sean Thompson after his encounter with Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson. Image via Sacramento Police Department.

“I felt the pressure to do something that I thought would at least symbolize and embarrass him,” Thompson said from jail, where he’s being held on $100,000 bail. “I still think it was a very appropriate response to a politician who acts the way that Kevin Johnson has acted.”

A statement from Johnson’s office asserted that the mayor was acting in self defense. “The Mayor was attacked and grabbed from behind and struck with what we afterwards learned was a pie from an unknown man,” the statement read. “He reacted in self-defense like most people do when attacked by an unknown object.”

Johnson, who played thirteen seasons for the Phoenix Suns, entered office in 2008 and was re-elected in 2012. Last October, after Deadspin published documentation of Johnson’s alleged child molestation, Thompson announced he wouldn’t run for a third term.

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