The scene at a Donald Trump rally in San Jose last week was pretty ugly. That was less the case inside the convention center than it was outside, where protesters assaulted Trump supporters leaving the rally, in some cases brutally.
From Buzzfeed via Hans Bader:
[R]allygoers simply trying to get back to their cars were chased down and beaten — often at the feet of San Jose Police, who stood by motionless…. Police were present at the gathering, but took a hands-off approach to the crowd. In some cases, officers stood nearby as fighting and violence broke out…. A police source told BuzzFeed News that officers were under orders to not break ranks.
In one video of the mayhem that has gone viral, a Trump supporter is knocked to the ground and stomped on by protesters, one of whom, a woman, laughs and says, “Got him!” An officer on a motorcycle helps the victim to his feet, but the perpetrators are free to mill around the scene, admiring their handiwork. (Caution: Profanity)
— Zack Kabir (@zforvendetta) June 3, 2016
The question that has been on everyone’s mind is who gave police at the scene the order to stand down and what was the rationale behind doing so?
An answer has finally emerged via San Jose Inside. On Friday, the paper carried a joint statement by Mayor Sam Liccardo and the San Jose Police Department:
On Thursday, June 2, 2016, approximately 300-400 protestors gathered outside a Trump rally in San Jose. The San Jose Police Department designated two locations for supporters and demonstrators. The Department had an operations plan in place in an effort to ensure the safety of everyone attending the event. However, officers were confronted by some protestors who became violent, aggressive and began to throw objects in their direction. A majority of the violence occurred at the conclusion of the event. While several physical assaults did occur, the police personnel on scene had the difficult task of weighing the need to immediately apprehend the suspect(s) against the possibility that police action involving the use of physical force under the circumstances would further insight [sic] the crowd and produce more violent behavior. [Emphasis added]
How perfectly logical. Leave it up to the individual officer, who in today’s politically charged climate is increasingly likely to back off from confrontations rather than risk the consequences of doing his job.
That’s assuming that was the situation and that police in San Jose — which is on the list of most liberal cities in America — were not instructed to let the mob have its way.
Written by Howard Portnoy and cross-posted at Liberty Unyielding