Tune in to a Donald Trump rally and there's a decent chance you'll see Maurice Symonette — better known as Michael the Black Man — standing front and center behind the president while waving his hand-drawn "Blacks for Trump" sign. He was there through much of the presidential campaign and then again last night in Phoenix, wildly cheering during CNN's live feed as Trump trashed the press and defended his pro-neo-Nazi remarks after Charlottesville.
Of course, Symonette is no ordinary Trump supporter. As New Times first chronicled during the campaign, he's a former member of Miami's lethal Yahweh ben Yahweh cult who personally beat two murder charges (for allegedly pummeling one man to death and jabbing a sharp stick into another victim's eyeball). In more recent years, he has beaten four other felonies ranging from grand theft auto to carrying concealed weapons.
By those standards, Michael the Black Man's latest brush with the law barely registers — but for one of Trump's most visible African-American supporters, it's both newsworthy and kind of hilarious.
Court records show Symonette was arrested in Hollywood, Florida, in the wee hours of New Year's Day for allegedly hosting a wild party in a rented house near the waterfront. The DJ was so loud that residents who lived eight blocks away across a body of water complained.
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The cops showed up at 2:30 in the morning to the house on North Southlake Drive, a stretch of houses on a lake off the Intracoastal Waterway. Neighbors had complained that "loud music" had been blasting through the upscale neighborhood all night, according to a Hollywood Police report.
The tunes were echoing so much that police had trouble figuring out the source. They had to circle through the area for nearly half an hour before finding the party. When they finally arrived at the house, they discovered a huge operation: a private security team, a valet, and cars lining both sides of the street. A DJ was spinning outside.
The cops identified Symonette as the host of the party and took him to the Broward Sheriff's Office main jail. The charge is just a municipal ordinance violation, but it's still working its way through Broward courts; Symonette successfully asked for a delay in May and has yet to receive a new court date.
So how exactly does Michael the Black Man keep ending up with prime seating directly behind Trump during televised rallies? New Times called his cell phone to ask, but after declaring that "Trump's speech was fantastic," Symonette hung up and didn't respond to multiple follow-up calls.