Police Held Back While Violent Mob Assaulted Trump Fundraiser Attendees?
He got to the convention center at around 6:50 and saw that the front doors were blocked by about 200 Black Lives Matter and other protesters. He said he tried the west doors but they were locked. So he had to go to the front doors where the violent mob was assembled.
He said one of the police officers by the west doors just looked at him and said, "Good luck." Henry, too, got the bullhorn-to-the-ear treatment as he walked to toward the front doors.
Inside the convention center, he said there were five or six officers, but none of them helped.
Henry said that after the fundraiser was over, he heard that there were problems with people leaving. He said at first he didn't think much of it, but then he could tell from people's expressions that the situation was serious. He said there were four other women who were there alone -- all over the age of 50 -- and they had to go through that intimidating front entrance to get out.
"It literally looked like the movie 'The Purge,'" Henry said. "These guys were opening up the doors, trying to get in. They were all masked."
He commended the convention center's security. "They did way more than the police did," Henry said.
TCNT radio host Andrew Lee noted that other attendees at the fundraiser told him that the event security was more helpful than the police.
Henry said the second they walked out the door, the protest thugs grabbed their souvenirs and signs, ripped them up and threw them in their faces. And they spat on them. Henry said that there was a guy in a lime green jacket and another guy with a green backpack who were particularly bad.
He said when he turned around, one of the (over 50-year-old ) women he was with was being pushed and shoved and spat on by a black girl. He saw another guy spray paint a woman from the top of her head down her back.
Incredibly, while all this was going on, they were "surrounded by police," according to Henry. "They were in a circle, just going with the flow." He said he had a woman at one arm and they tried to stay tight together. "As we were stepping off the curb, the guy with the lime green jacket grabbed my name tag and threw it on the ground and started stepping on it," he said.
"That's when I said, you know what? No one steps on my name. I said I'm not leaving here without my name tag. So I bent down to pick it up, and they started stepping on my hand, spitting on me, pushing me -- they pushed me good enough to hyper-extend my knee," Henry claimed. "It felt like 20 seconds but it was probably not more than 10 seconds, and I said out loud, 'I'm not leaving here without my name tag.' Then I heard an officer in the background say, 'let him pick it up,' and as soon as he said that, they just released. They just backed up. It felt like it was coordinated," Henry exclaimed. "It was so bizarre!"
One of the radio hosts said that it was obvious that the protesters weren't in fear of being arrested.
"It was almost like they were in cahoots," Henry agreed.
Like the other attendees who called in, once his group got across the street, they were left alone.
Henry said when he came upon a bicycle officer, he told him, "These aren't peaceful protesters. Can't you arrest them?"
The officer allegedly answered, "Don't you think I want to?" According to Henry, the officer told him, "Our hands are tied."
As his group was walking into the parking garage, they heard glass breaking at the convention center and he immediately thought that someone would have to get arrested for the property damage. But there were no arrests.
The host remarked that he was disappointed in the media for downplaying what happened. The headline in St. Paul Pioneer Press, for example, merely stated that attendees were "taunted."
"You shouldn't feel unsafe in downtown Minneapolis where there is a heavy and strong police presence," the host said. "And yet you still felt unsafe, and you still got attacked and you still got stolen from, and the people... who perpetrated these assaults -- they just got to go home. They probably feel pretty proud of themselves."
Henry said the next day he went down to the First Precinct to file a report, and an officer there told him that they had been told to stand down. And the officer allegedly said that the order to not do anything "came from the top."
He went down to the station on Sunday with another witness and pictures of the two worst offenders to help the police with the case -- only there was no case. Another officer allegedly said, "We were told that that's a dead issue. We're not wasting any time on that."
According to Henry, the officer said, "That's from the top."
The Minneapolis Police Department denied in a statement Monday that there was any stand-down order.
August 22, 2016 (MINNEAPOLIS) 3 reports of criminal activity have been filed with the Minneapolis Police Department regarding a political rally at the Minneapolis Convention Center on the evening of Friday, August 19th. Police are investigating a “robbery of person” where a cell phone was taken, an “assault” where a person had souvenirs ripped out of their hand, and a “damage to property” report after someone spray-painted graffiti on the convention center itself. At this point, no arrests have been made as the MPD continues to investigate.
The majority of protests were peaceful throughout the evening and minor disruptions to traffic were handled without incident. Late in the evening, after the candidate left, Minneapolis Police Officers provided approximately 50 escorts for those who attended the event. However, we understand there were some attendees who left without escorts who were the subject of intimidation and abuse. The MPD is currently looking at video from some of these incidents.
Any rumors or reports that officers were told to “stand down” are false.
All told, the MPD had dozens officers working at, or near the convention center throughout the evening, including patrol officers from the 1st and 5th Precincts, members of the Bicycle Rapid Response Team and officers in the Mounted Patrol Unit.
If there are people who would like to file reports, we encourage them to visit the 1st Precinct (19 North 4th Street) and inform officers of crimes that may have been committed that evening. We also encourage people who may have video of these actions to provide them to 1st precinct officers for review.
You can listen to the audio here: