Rallies hosted by Donald Trump’s campaign for the Republican Party nomination for the 2016 U.S. presidential election have been met by more and more seeming protesters. At first, there were reports of individuals causing minor disturbances and short stoppages at Trump rallies. Then, on March 11, Trump protesters prevented an entire rally from taking place, with the UIC Pavilion descending into chaos before dozens of Chicago police officers arrived and regained order, as reported by Politico.
Be safe out there!
-Turn on your headlights
-Both hands on the steering wheel
-Keep safe distance from other vehicles
-Avoid the curb lane
— Brandon Tatum (@TheOfficerTatum) January 7, 2016
Since then, protests at Trump rallies have continued. In a YouTube video, Brandon Tatum, reported to be an Arizona police officer, recorded candid comments about protesters he encountered while attending a Trump rally in Tucson, protesters that the Republican front-runner himself described as “sick,” as reported by The Inquisitr.
An unverified Twitter profile listed under Brandon Tatum describes him as being a four-year veteran of the Tucson Police Department.
In his video, Officer Tatum describes the Donald Trump rally as “shocking” and one where he found himself “not being ready” for what he saw.
“I had no idea that I was going to leave that event with the thought processes and experiences that I obtained.”
Tatum described meeting peaceful protesters holding signs before he was first able to reach the line, and reading the material they were presenting, allowing him to “see their point of view.”
The Tucson police officer then described moving closer to the entrance and not being able to take photos or record video because organizers of the event were “pushing” attendees through. Protesters near the door were “verbally violent,” hurling obscenities like “f— Donald Trump” and acting in an “outrageous” manner.
“I mean people were directly yelling at me as if I’m a criminal, and all I’m trying to do is just hear what the man has to say,” Brandon Tatum can be heard in his video.
Tatum described attempting to keep an open mind while attending the event and said that he dressed in a neutral manner, not visibly showing support for any candidate. Once inside, the Arizona law enforcement professional remembered the event being “peaceful” and free from “hatred,” with Donald Trump supporters refraining from lashing out at protesters.
Officer Tatum then explained that Trump had paid to rent the facility where the rally was taking place, giving him the legal right to have protesters, or anyone else he wished, escorted from the property. Tatum questioned the legal standing of claims that protesters escorted from Trump rallies had been denied their constitutional rights. He also noted that announcements instructing Trump supporters to not engage with protesters were made.
“These people were acting a fool,” the Tucson police officer stated. “I’m talking about cussing, and screaming.” He then described protesters wearing Ku Klux Klan garb “flipping people off” and acting in an “outlandish and out-of-control” manner.
Citing the “climate” brought on by the protesters, and despite the dramatic situations he has encountered as a police officer, Tatum professed that he was made to feel “uncomfortable” at the Donald Trump rally. He noted that he did find the heavy police presence somewhat reassuring.
“These people are the most hateful, evil people I’ve ever seen.”
And despite claims by protesters to the contrary, Brandon Tatum stated that he didn’t hear any “hateful” or “racist” speech from Donald Trump. The police officer elaborated that his followers simply “wanted to hear” what Trump had to say, much of which was positive, including his views on immigration, the wall on the Mexican border, and his views on Islam.
Tatum stated that Trump is definitely not a “crazy psychopath” like he was “kind-of” expecting. The police officer then described a protester who was “stomped” and professed a belief that the protester “was asking for that one.”
Officer Tatum also described a protester, accompanied by a child who was holding a flag bearing racist slurs, which a Trump supporter was said to have taken, balled up, and discarded. Tatum held this incident up as one that the media may “hang onto” and perhaps try to blow out of proportion; there were “1,000 other people who should be kicking those peoples’ tails” because they were “in people’s faces, and everything.”
Displaying a remarkable amount of restraint, and despite the outrageous behavior of the protesters, Trump organizers did not retaliate with violence, Brandon Tatum explained.
Tatum described Trump speaking over-top of protesters through about 60 percent of his speech, stopping only occasionally to address them, as they locked arms defiantly.
The police officer stated that most of the protesters were “acting a fool,” which he described as “cussing, and screaming, and getting in peoples’ faces.”
“I thought at some point it was going to be a full-fledged riot… I thought I was going to have to punch a couple of people.”
[Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images]