What was intended to be a friendly gathering of local activists turned into an ugly encounter with threats of violence last week.
Inside the Bru’s Room Sports Grill in Boynton Beach, Carly Cass, a lesbian, says she was accosted and nearly assaulted by Sean P. Jackson, a Palm Beach County Republican Party operative. Jackson, Cass said, grew angry and eventually stated, “You want to be a man, I’ll beat you like a man.”
The joint social event was sponsored by the Palm Beach County Young Democrats and Palm Beach County Young Republicans.
SFGN contacted the offices of the Palm Beach County Republican Party seeking confirmation of Jackson’s affiliation with the party. Ryan Hnatiuk, a GOP spokesman, said he was looking into the incident and would respond at a later time with an official statement.
Cass, a board member of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council, said she was discussing LGBT issues with friends when Jackson “injected himself into the conversation.”
“He started by calling us all Socialists and then he got angrier and slurs were said,” Cass told SFGN in a telephone call Monday afternoon.
The alleged incident occurred on Tuesday, Aug. 25. Cass said Jackson was removed from the sports grill and escorted to his car. It was the first time Cass had met Jackson and it was memorable.
“It was a heated moment,” Cass said.
Palm Beach County Human Rights Council Founder Rand Hoch said Jackson has, in recent years, operated on the fringe of the Palm Beach County political scene. In 2012, Jackson campaigned for the West Palm Beach City Commission, losing to Sylvia Moffett. A year later, Jackson, was accused of a hit and run inside a West Palm Beach parking garage, but those charges, which included a driving with a suspended license citation, were eventually dropped, reports the Palm Beach Post.
“He (Jackson) just doesn’t seem to have any boundaries,” Hoch said.
Jackson, 25, claims to be the chairman of the board for the Black Republican Caucus of South Florida. Cass, however, says the issue is not about color or party and has received words of support from Republicans and Democrats, alike.
“This incident proves we still have work to do for human rights in Palm Beach County,” Cass said. “It was a personal discussion, but his behavior was inappropriate. We need to work together to ensure equality and safety for all.”
Cass said she has yet to receive an apology from Jackson.