LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Three people who claim they were assaulted at the Donald Trump rally on March 1 have filed a lawsuit against Trump, his campaign, a white supremacist and a Korean War Veteran.
Trump is trying to win the Republican party's nomination for president.
The lawsuit, filed Thursday in Jefferson Circuit Court, claims Kashiya Nwanguma, Molly Shah and Henry Brousseau were peacefully protesting at the Kentucky International Convention Center when Trump stopped his speech and told his supporters to “get ‘em out of here.”
Matthew Heimbach, a leader with the white supremacist Traditionalist Youth Network, is accused of assaulting Nwanguma and Shah. Alvin Bamberger, a 75-year-old Ohio resident, is accused of shoving Nwanguma while she was leaving the rally. He was wearing a uniform associated with the Korean War Veterans Association.
Nwanguma, a 21-year-old University of Louisville student, claims she was protesting non-violently, carrying a sign depicting Trump’s face on the body of a pig. The lawsuit alleges Nwanguma was called racist and sexist slurs and repeatedly assaulted. Heimbach and Bamberger both shoved and struck her, according to the lawsuit. A video of the incident went viral soon after the rally.
Shah claims after one of Trump’s five comments urging supporters to throw out protestors, Heimbach and others rushed at her small group. Shah said she witnessed someone punch Brousseau and then she was shoved from behind by Heimbach as she began to leave.
Brousseau, a 17-year-old high school student, alleges he was punched in the stomach by a one of the Traditionalist Worker Party “comrades.” The suit includes “unknown defendant” as a party.
All three plaintiffs in the lawsuit have also filed criminal complaints with Louisville Metro Police. No charges have been filed.
In a blog post, Heimbach said he helped the crowd “drive out” Nwanguma, claiming she had initiated the incident by “pushing, shoving, barking, and screaming at the attendees for the better part of an hour."
The lawsuit says there is no evidence Nwanguma did any of this “because that simply didn’t happen.”
Bamberger later wrote a letter to the veteran’s association admitting his role in the assault, according to the lawsuit.
“Trump kept saying ‘get them out, get them out’ and people in the crowd began pushing and shoving the protestors,” Bamberger wrote. “”I physically pushed a young woman down the aisle toward the exit, an action I sincerely regret.”
Bamberger also claimed he did not know he was standing next to members of a white supremacy group, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit accused Trump of inciting a riot by directing his supporters to use force to remove protestors. The lawsuit identifies several other rallies in which there was violence, including in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Las Vegas, Nevada.
“I love the old days,” Trump is described as saying at the Las Vegas rally on Feb. 22. “You know what they used to do to guys like that when they were in a place like this? They’d be carried out on a stretcher, folks.”
"Peaceful protest is an American tradition, especially in the context of presidential politics," Dan Canon, one of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, wrote in an email to WDRB.
"But what you see all over the country, time and time again, is violence employed against protestors at Trump campaign events. These plaintiffs are saying 'enough is a enough,'" he continued.
In addition, the lawsuit describes the incident in which former Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields was “grabbed and thrown to the ground” at a Trump press conference on March 8. Trumps campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, has been charged with assault in that case.
Trump and his campaign did not try to stop the racial and ethnic slurs at the Louisville rally but “selectively targeted the protestors for physical violence because of the content of their speech,” the lawsuit claims.
The Republican presidential hopeful and his campaign acted with “gross negligence” and failed to provide proper security, allowing supporters to be responsible for ejecting “peaceful protestors,” according to the suit.
The lawsuit is seeking unspecified monetary damages for physical injuries and emotional distress.
A copy of the lawsuit can be viewed here:
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