Protesters at Donald Trump events seem to be getting increasingly volatile. In recent days, Trump protesters have punched, been punched, resulted in the cancellation of rallies, stopped traffic, and even (in the case of one woman in Kansas) slapped a police horse. Now one police officer is going on record, calling protesters at Donald Trump events “the most evil, hateful I’ve ever seen.”
The Washington Post reports that Officer Brandon Tatum of the Tuscon PD attended last Saturday’s Donald Trump rally in Arizona as a civilian just to check out what was going on for himself. According to the report, the officer was shocked by the behavior he witnessed. According to Tatum, the worst of the worst came at the hands of Trump protesters, not Trump supporters.
He thought there was going to be a “full-fledged riot,” and the problem was the Trump protesters.
Tatum said he went to the Trump event dressed in a black shirt and khakis, typical civilian garb, to hear what The Donald had to say. According to the officer, the first protesters he met up with were peaceful, and he visited with them to “see their point of view.” However, the closer he got to the door, the more bad-natured the protesters became. At the door, protesters were “verbally violent,” said Tatum, shouting “black lives matter,” flipping off anyone who was looking, and shouting “f**k Donald Trump.”
“These people were acting so outrageous. You were just thinking that somebody was going to lose their temper and there was going to be a full brawl.”
Take a look at Tatum’s full rendition of events.
The officer, who is African American, swore that he “could not believe what he saw.”
He says that he saw someone in the crowd of Trump protesters wearing a KKK hood, people cursing, yelling, and even tackling each other to the ground. He saw a mother covering her child’s ears, and Officer Tatum even admitted that he thought he would have to “punch a couple of people in self-defense.”
Prior to the Trump event on Saturday, Donald Trump protesters managed to block traffic leading to a Donald Trump event near Phoenix. The Saturday morning Trump protesters utilized pickup trucks sporting banners reading “Comb Over Racism: Dump Trump” and “Shut Down Trump” initially to block the flow of traffic to the Trump rally, then managed to continue to keep traffic at bay on foot as the morning progressed.
Later, at a different Trump event in Tuscon, protesters formed a human wall to block the entrance of the site, shouting “Shut it down!”
During that event, a Trump protester was assaulted by a Donald Trump supporter while the protester was being removed from the rally by authorities. The Trump protester was both sucker-punched and stomped on by a fan of The Donald.
Donald Trump tried to make excuses for the violent assault against the protester during and interview with ABC’s This Week. According to Trump, a friend of the assaulted protester was wearing a KKK hood, which “enraged” the assailant, a Donald Trump supporter who was also African American.
“Frankly, that was a, you know, it was a tough thing to watch. And I watched it. But why would a protester walk into a room with a Ku Klux Klan outfit on?”
While Donald Trump seems to believe that the appropriate response to seeing someone dressed in a way that offends you is to sucker-punch and then stomp on them, Officer Tatum has a more rational (and legally sound) view of the situation. According to his Facebook post, authorities investigating the matter found that the assaulted Trump protester did “not provoke” the man who attacked him.
“I don’t need to state the obvious regarding my stance on assault.”
According to Officer Tatum, visiting the rally caused him to “gain a lot of respect for Donald Trump.” However, he found issues with his protesters, adding that because Donald Trump had rented the venue used for the rally, he had the legal right to remove people from the event as he saw fit.
“It was the violent protesters who were violating people’s constitutional rights to freedom of speech and assembly.”
The Arizona police officer (who didn’t divulge his official political affiliation) is not the only one who believes that Trump protesters may be doing more harm than good. PinkNews reports that Harvey Fierstein, “a long-time gay rights proponent and AIDS activist, and a staunch opponent of anti-LGBT Republicans,” has called on liberals to stop protesting Donald Trump in a Facebook post.
“Watching our people protesting Trump today I have to say that I don’t understand what we’re doing. I understand that we must always speak out against intolerance and bigotry and anyone who would destroy American values to ensure their own profits but, at this moment… WHY ARE WE DOING THE REPUBLICANS’ JOB FOR THEM?
“My friends… This is the time for us to work FOR OUR PARTY and not for the Republicans. They poisoned their garden and can now only grow weeds and briers like Trump and Cruz.
“Let’s do our job. Let’s use our energy to work FOR SOMETHING. Not against it.”
Maybe Mr. Fierstein is right. Maybe it’s time for the left to stop with the increasingly violent protests against Donald Trump. Perhaps the left would be better served with fewer Donald Trump protesters and more supporters of the Democratic candidates for president.
[Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images]