Police who refused frantic calls by campaign staffers for President Joe Biden to rescue their bus from allegedly being harassed by supporters of then-President Donald Trump made jokes about it, according to a federal filing in a lawsuit over the year-old incident.
Last October, a self-described “Trump Train” of supporters of the 45th president preyed upon the nerves of a Biden bus when the then-former vice president was still campaigning. The trucks driven by the Trump loyalists drove in and out of the Biden convoy, boxed them in the road at one point and were involved in a fender-bender-type collision, according to Fox News. The bus, however, was never struck.
But there’s more, according to The Texas Tribune, which obtained court documents revealing the chitchat among officers that day as the incident unfolded.
Although the incident may seem like a motorized version of the rough-and-tumble of politics, the suit filed against several jurisdictions claims the Biden staffers impacted suffer psychological and emotional injury. From a legal standpoint, the suit invokes the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871 claiming police were aware of “acts of violent political intimidation” but did not do anything.
We sent the @JoeBiden @KamalaHarris bus out of Hays! Your kind aren’t welcome here! This is #TrumpCountry #smtx #sanmarcos #MAGA #LatinosForTrump #Trump2020Landslide #LeadRight #AmericaFirst @realDonaldTrump @DonaldJTrumpJr @LaraLeaTrump @EricTrump @TrumpStudents @RidgeReaper68 pic.twitter.com/q2v2FRmNPr
— Naomi Narvaiz (@nytxnn) October 30, 2020
Part of the 911 transcripts that are now part of the case reveal that San Marcos Police Department Cpl. Matthew Daenzer rejected the idea of escorting the Bidenistas.
“I am so annoyed at New Braunfels for doing this to us,” a dispatcher told Daenzer, who laughed at the comment, according to the transcript. “They have their officers escorting this Biden bus, essentially, and the Trump Train is cutting in between vehicles and driving — being aggressive and slowing them down to like 20 or 30 miles per hour. And they want you guys to respond to help.”
“No, we’re not going to do it,” Daenzer said. “We will ‘close patrol’ that, but we’re not going to escort a bus.”
“[T]hey’re like really worked up over it and he’s like breathing hard and stuff, like, ‘they’re being really aggressive.’ Okay. Calm down,” the dispatcher said.
Daenzer said the Biden bus should “drive defensively and it’ll be great.”
“Or leave the train,” the 911 dispatcher said. “There’s an idea.”
The dispatcher then relayed the news to Team Biden that the Democrats were on their own.
“If you feel like you’re being threatened or your life is threatened, definitely call us back,” she said.
“Are you kidding me, ma’am?” the staffer said, adding, “they’ve threatened my life on multiple occasions with vehicular collision.”
The staffer then again asked for an escort.
The complaint said that on the day after the incident, Chase Stapp, the public safety director for San Marcos, wrote, “From what I can gather, the Biden bus never even exited I-35 thanks to the Trump escort.”
However, as news of the event traveled, officers wrote one another using internal emails to warn of a “political fire storm” and that the incident “might lead to political and legal consequences,” the complaint said.
Daenzer’s report said that “due to the staffing issues, lack of time to plan, and lack of knowledge of the route, we were unable to provide an escort.”
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