The man who threw a pie in the face of Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson said he is a nonviolent protester who believes the mayor could better represent his community.
Talking with reporters from behind thick glass inside Sacramento County Jail, Sean Thompson, 32, of Sacramento said he is angry at Johnson’s decision to focus on the construction of an arena, instead of “focusing on helping the people and voters rise up and be better citizens.
“Put the energy into helping create jobs and give money back to the community the way we need it,” Thompson said. “If [Johnson] had put half the energy he put into the arena, we’d be living in a utopia.
Johnson was hit by the pie at a Sacramento High School’s Farm-to-Fork Seeds of Hope dinner on Wednesday night. Eyewitnesses said Thompson walked up to Johnson toward the end of the dinner when the incident happened.
"I felt some pressure to do something that would at least symbolize and embarrass him," Thompson said. "So I decided to throw a pie at him."
UFC fighter and Johnson’s guest at the event, Urijah Faber said Johnson fought back against Thompson after the pie-throwing.
“They got into a scuffle and started rolling around on the ground and looks like that guy (Thompson) got the worst of it,” Faber said.
Thompson maintained throughout the interview that he is a nonviolent protester. When asked whether he believed throwing a coconut cream pie in the face of any public official should be construed as violence, Thompson doubled down on his claim that his protest was nonviolent.
“I don’t normally condone violence – violence begets violence,” Thompson said. “If I was actually harming someone, then that would justify someone using violence against me, and that wasn’t the case in my mind.”
Asked if he could say anything to Johnson, Thompson was pretty succinct in his evaluation of the mayor.
“I’d tell Kevin Johnson he’s been a real a—hole,” Thompson said.
However, Thompson said he felt bad for sending a message of violence “to a lot of people, and I’m sorry I scared a lot of people.”
Sacramento police said Thompson received minor injuries.
“My pie to his face that was cleaned up in minutes, is that equivalent to the stitches on my face?” Thompson asked.
Thompson said the mayor looked at him for a minute and then “started swinging on me and then other people stepped in and started swinging on me too.
“I don’t think it was an appropriate response to a pie in the face.”
Thompson hopes in the future any other politician will spend more time and energy focusing on helping the people and voters “rise up and be better citizens, especially those disenfranchised voters, because that’s how you build a better community.”
“I was hoping to spread a message,” Thompson said. “I didn’t think it would be like this, but I hope the message spreads far and wide.”
Thompson has been identified as a former Sacramento City College student and Occupy Sacramento activist, though he wanted to be clear that his actions were not a product of any Occupy agenda.
Johnson said he was not injured. Bail for Thompson has been set at $100,000.
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