News & Politics

Plaintiffs in 2016 San Jose Trump Rally Assault Case Getting Closer to Seeing Justice

Thursday, June 2, 2016, in San Jose, Calif. A group of protesters attacked Trump supporters who were leaving the presidential candidate's rally in San Jose on Thursday night.(AP Photo/Noah Berger)

A civil rights lawsuit that is slowly making its way through the Northern District of California court system promises to impact whether Republicans will be able to safely assemble in certain Democrat-run cities during President Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign.

The case — Hernandez v. City of San Jose —  “has already gone up to the 9th Circuit and survived the government’s appeal,” according to Harmeet K. Dhillon‏, whose law firm is handling the case pro bono.

The plaintiffs in the case, Rachel Casey (seen in the picture below), Juan Hernandez, and a dozen others, were violently assaulted at a Trump rally on June 2, 2017, while the San Jose Police Department stood back and watched.

“San Jose has become a battleground in the growing problem of organized political violence in our cities, unchecked by law enforcement,” Dhillon Law states.

In several instances across the nation, police have been ordered by local leaders to do nothing to protect their own citizens – they stand by and watch the leftist groups attack anyone who doesn’t share the same ideologies as city leaders. In other instances, local leaders and authorities inadequately prepare for known threats, and fail to enforce the law during violent incidents.

Indeed, in the past few years, places like Minneapolis, Sacramento, and Berkeley have seen police stand-down orders that left Trump supporters at the mercy of organized, violent left-wing goon squads.

San Jose remains the most egregious example of a phenomenon that will continue to threaten the civil rights of Trump supporters in the years to come — unless left-wing city officials are held accountable.

Victims of the political violence “range from a 14-year-old assaulted by two individuals and denied assistance by the San Jose Fire Department, to a 71-year-old woman who said her glasses were ripped off and destroyed by three rioters in view of police who told her they were not allowed to make arrests,” the Justice 4 San Jose Trump Rally GoFundMe page states.

Who can forget this image of the fleeing boy pursued by a band of rabid thugs?

(AP Photo/Noah Berger)

How is something like that allowed to happen in an American city while police stand back and do nothing?

According to the plaintiffs’ complaint, the city “normally implements a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to violent protesters by making targeted arrests during the protests.”

But for the Trump campaign rally, the city took an “entirely different” approach: “the City Defendants instructed all officers to stand by, watch as the attacks occurred, and not intervene” because “intervention might cause a riot.”

The plaintiffs claim the officers looked on as they were “battered by several anti-Trump protesters, including, in some instances, being struck in the head and face, kicked in the back, spat upon, and otherwise harassed and assaulted.”

They also allege that officers “directed them into the mob of violent protesters” waiting outside the convention center.

The officers only allowed the attendees to “leave from the east-northeast exit of the convention center” and “actively prevented [them] from leaving through alternative exits,” according to the complaint.

Upon exiting the convention center, the attendees passed by a line of police, who directed them to proceed along the street right into the crowd of violent anti-Trump agitators.

Many of the attendees “were beaten, victimized by theft, and/or had objects such as bottles and eggs thrown at them” as a result.

Two attendees — Hernandez and Dustin Haines-Scrodin — claim that San Jose police “directed [them] to walk through the anti-Trump protesters, rather than… allow[ing] [them] to turn south, in the direction of safety.”

Having no other choice, they followed those directions and were quickly set upon and “struck repeatedly in their faces and heads” by anti-Trump agitators.

As a result, “Hernandez suffered a broken nose [and several] abrasions,” and “Haines-Scrodin … suffered [various] bodily injuries.”

Dozens of other attendees suffered similar fates, while the police stood back and watched.

San Jose Police Department officers on the scene “arrested only three individuals” during the rally, “each of whom allegedly assaulted and/or battered police officers,” and made no arrests in connection with the dozens of assaults committed against the attendees, according to the complaint.

After the rally, San Jose Police Chief Edgardo Garcia publicly commended the police officers and lauded them for showing “restraint.” Chief Garcia said, “Additional force can incite more violence in the crowd” and the officers at the rally “should be commended for both their effectiveness and their restraint.”

The mayor of San Jose had the unmitigated gall to blame Donald Trump for the violence:

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo (D.) cast blame on Donald Trump for violence by anti-Trump protesters outside his rally Thursday night, telling the Associated Press that he “needs to take responsibility for the irresponsible behavior of his campaign.”

Liccardo, who has endorsed Hillary Clinton, lauded the work of the local police, but he said Trump’s presence in some cities served only to ignite anger.

Fourteen rally attendees who were assaulted that day have banded together to sue the mayor and police chief of San Jose, the city of San Jose, and several individual rioters: “We and the other plaintiffs are also class representatives for a class of all rally attendees whose civil rights were violated by the actions of the local authorities.”

Dhillon said that Rachel Casey was in town on Monday for her deposition in the case. “She still has flashbacks about the vicious mob that attacked her,” Dhillon wrote on Twitter.