Fourteen California Donald Trump supporters filed a civil rights lawsuit Thursday, saying that San Jose's police failed to protect them from violent protesters after a campaign rally last month.
The 44-page lawsuit is seeking class-action status on behalf of all Trump supporters who were attacked after the June 2 campaign rally in downtown San Jose. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages on behalf of people who said they suffered concussions, were beaten and harassed at the rally, and that police did nothing about it.
The supporters are represented by lawyer Harmeet Dhillon, who is vice chair of the California Republican Party.
One of the 14 supporters in the lawsuit is Rachel Casey, the woman who was egged - and then smiled about it - outside the Marriot Hotel during the Trump Rally in San Jose.
The lawsuit says that San Jose police's response to mounting attacks on Trump supporters was tepid and tardy. San Jose police arrested 20 people after the melee and said two dozen people reported assaults.
Police in riot gear stood their ground for about 90 minutes as violence escalated before breaking up scuffles and making arrests.
San Jose police Chief Eddie Garcia the next day commended his officers' response to the violence, saying the 250 officers on hand showed ``discipline and restraint.''
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, a Democrat and Hillary Clinton supporter, criticized Trump for coming to cities and igniting problems that local police departments had to address. ``At some point Donald Trump needs to take responsibility for the irresponsible behavior of his campaign,'' Liccardo told The Associated Press the night of the rally.
After hearing the news of the lawsuit, Liccardo released a statement saying, "There is no place for violence in our political process, or in our city. The ludicrous accusation that I somehow directed the police department to 'stand down' at the rally is utterly false. In fact, I have no authority to issue such an order."
Dhillon, the supporters' attorney, said Thursday that those and other public comments from top city officials show ``that their inaction was colored by political viewpoint considerations.''