Police Held Back While Violent Mob Assaulted Trump Fundraiser Attendees?
A week ago in Minneapolis, Republican donors attending a Trump fundraiser were assaulted, robbed and spat upon by a violent leftist mob as they were leaving the event. Attendees say that even though there was a strong law enforcement presence at the convention center downtown where the fundraiser was held, they were not afforded any police protection when coming to and leaving the event -- and even more incredibly, there were no arrests.
Many people who attended the event told Fox 9 that police seemed to back down from intervening, but the Minneapolis Police Department insists there was no stand-down order.
Twin Cities News Talk TCNT morning hosts Andrew Lee and MN state Senator David Osmek took calls on Monday from attendees who also said that the police seemed to be holding back. One male attendee claimed he was told by more than one officer that law enforcement had been ordered to "stand down" -- and that the order had "come from the top."
The first caller, Carol, said that as attendees were leaving, they were urged to use alternative doors because the protesters were by the front doors. Because it was raining outside, she wrapped her autographed Trump sign in her sweater so it wouldn't get wet.
"When we came out on the sidewalk, there weren't any protesters," she said. But it didn't take long for the mob to figure out what was happening. "We were ambushed," she continued. "They came running at us -- I was grabbed. Women with bandannas over their noses and mouths screamed obscenities at us." She noted that she didn't see any police in the immediate area.
Carol said that when she screamed, the thugs mocked her and called her a "white supremacist." She said that when she wrestled herself away, her Trump sign became uncovered. When the protesters saw it, she said she ran really fast across the street and that once she crossed the street, the mob stopped pursuing her.
Another caller, Cynthia, said she was dropped off about a block away from the convention center because her driver didn't want to get in close proximity to the intimidating mob.
There was only way to enter the convention center because of the security screening and that was the door the protesters were blocking. When Cynthia asked a police officer if he would escort her to the event, he allegedly told her she was on her own. So this middle-aged, genteel lady had to fight her way through the terrifying gauntlet to get to the door. One of the protesters put her megaphone to her ear and screamed profanities at her. Luckily, event security saw what was happening and let her in.
On the way out, Cynthia said she felt a little more protected because she was with three gentlemen. They saw a tussle in front of them which turned out to be when the robbery victim had his cell phone stolen.
She said that the black women "got aggressive" with them and spat on the men. During the ordeal, she said she heard someone go up to the women and say, "That's enough."
The shaken woman said that it felt like an "unsafe environment" and that she'd never felt like this in the Twin Cities before.
"I'm not going to call them protesters," Cynthia said. "They were thugs. They were not protesting. They were in our faces aggressively trying to intimidate and terrorize us. Why did they let them stand right in front of that door?!" she asked plaintively -- meaning the police. "Why did they let them stand right in front of that door? You could not get to the event unless you went through that crowd."
She said that the next day, she kept saying to herself, "This is not my city."
"I was really ashamed for my city and for those people who were there. They are so misguided. They have no idea who they were yelling and spitting and being aggressive with. We're all human beings. It's really sad," Cynthia said.
Henry had the worst story.
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.
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