Fourteen Donald Trump Supporters filed a class action lawsuit on Thursday against San Jose, its mayor and police chief for the “dangerous situation” at a June 2 Donald Trump campaign rally where supporters were “exposed to brutal assault, intimidation, false imprisonment, and threats by an angry mob of hundreds of anti-Trump protesters.”
Trump supporters were pelted with eggs, physically assaulted, and left bloody by anti-Trump activists outside of the San Jose Trump rally on June 2.
The lawsuit calls out San Jose officials for failing to protect rally attendees despite hundreds of police deployed to the site, and for revealing political motivations for doing so in subsequent public statements.
One 14-year-old girl assaulted by two people was allegedly denied assistance by the San Jose Fire Department according to the Dhillon Law Group. A 71-year-old woman is described as having had her glassed ripped off and crushed. The suit alleges that police who witnessed the incident refused to arrest the culprit.
Many instances of confrontations outside the rally were caught on video, and not necessarily all are included in the lawsuit as of yet. One woman was pelted with eggs and other objects as scores of protesters surrounding her screamed. Another man was left bleeding after an anti-Trump protester hit him in the head with what appeared to be a heavy bag. The victim also told reporters that the attacker had stolen his Trump sign and called him a racist.
Four people were arrested at the riot, according to the Associated Press. Former San Jose councilman Pete Constant, who is also a former police officer, said police seemed more concerned with protecting private property.
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, named as a defendant in the lawsuit, is a Hillary Clinton supporter. He blamed Trump for the violence, criticizing the candidate’s presidential campaign for “irresponsible behavior.” The City of San Jose and San Jose Chief of Police Edgardo Garcia are also named as defendants in the lawsuit, as well as “certain named individual rioter defendants, and 38 yet-unknown ‘Doe’ defendants.”
San Jose Police Officers’ Association President Paul Kelly expressed disgust at the assaults, which he said “have no place in our society or our political process.”
California Republican Party Vice Chair Harmeet Dhillon is the legal representative for the Trump supporters in the lawsuit.
The release from the Dhillon Law group on allegations contained in the lawsuit reads:
“The plaintiffs allege violations of the class’s constitutional rights, including the rights to free speech, peaceful assembly, and due process, as well as various other statutory and common law claims. Hernandez et al. v. City of San Jose et al., Case No. 5:16-cv-03957-LHK (N.D.C.A. July 14, 2016).
“Trump supporters attending the rally on June 2 in San Jose are American citizens entitled to the same First Amendment protections as the protesters in this liberal, sanctuary city. Unfortunately, despite deploying 250 police, many of which were in riot gear, and being fully aware of the ongoing riots in the area, San Jose’s leadership decided to force peaceful attendees into a dangerous path through a mob of violent, organized protesters, and then ordered police to stand by and watch while Trump event attendees were violently assaulted,” Dhillon said in a statement to Breitbart News.
“In some cases, police and fire officers refused support to assault victims in extremis, begging for help,” she said.
“San Jose’s Mayor compounded the enflamed situation by effectively blaming the victims for attending an event sponsored by a politician the Mayor disagrees with, which he made clear in his public statement following the riots. Victims waited for weeks to see if the city would take action aggressively to prosecute the offenders, but to date the City has failed to hold the rioters and their organizers fully accountable for the violence and the threats chilling the free speech and association rights of the victims.”
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