Photo: JOSH EDELSON
On July 14, 2016, fourteen supporters of Donald Trump filed a lawsuit against the San Jose police department, claiming that the police failed to protect them from violent protestors at a June 2, 2016 Trump campaign rally. The fourteen named plaintiffs are seeking class action status on behalf of all Trump supporters who were attacked at the rally.
Around 300 to 400 anti-Trump protestors were outside the venue, allegedly pelting eggs and glass bottles at supporters. On the day of the event, San Jose police were prepared for a disruption, and 250 officers were on hand at the rally in full riot gear; however, police said they were reluctant to step in, fearing that police involvement would only cause the violence to escalate. Officers allowed the melee to progress for around 90 minutes before stepping in and arresting 20 people.
Plaintiffs assert that the police response was slow, halfhearted and heavily influenced by the political beliefs of city leaders. Conversely, City of San Jose attorney Rick Doyle maintains that the police reaction was appropriate. Doyle has since praised the police officers involved for showing restraint and discipline in the matter.
These are not the first acts of violence to transpire at a Trump rally. At past rallies, supporters of the presidential candidate were the aggressors and violently attacked protestors. Those who are dismayed by the ongoing violence are calling on Trump to address the situation and encourage peace among his supporters.
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