According to the evidence, including transcripts of 911 calls, filed in connection with the trial, police along the route, particularly in the town of San Marcos, categorically refused to send a police escort to protect the bus. They made fun of the victims of terror for their request. And they were annoyed when a neighboring court sent an escort.
“San Marcos refused to help,” says the newly modified federal lawsuit. The first lawsuit in the matter, filed in June, targeted the Trumpist thugs – who organized their attack on the bus using Facebook – involved in the very specific actions that threatened the bus. The second lawsuit is now targeting the police who “turned a blind eye to the attack – despite calls for help – and did not provide the bus with a police escort,” according to Protect Democracy, the group lawyers representing the plaintiffs.
The bus was part of a late Texas campaign for the Biden Campaign, which hosted several events in the state as part of a “Battle for the Soul of the Nation” tour featuring various Democratic candidates appearing with Harris. Pro-Trump vehicles, nicknamed the “Trump Train,” circled the bus as it passed near New Braunfels en route to Austin, and stayed with it as far as San Marcos, 20 miles down the road.
Videos showed the vehicles lined up along the freeway waiting for the bus, then speeding up and circling it as pro-Trump onlookers clapped and laughed. According to those on the bus, the vehicles slowed down and appeared to be attempting to bring it to a complete stop.
One of the caravan’s organizers on Facebook, Randi Ceh, posted a video on his Facebook page claiming that the staff car following the bus closely was breaking the law – and when a large pickup turned and left ‘hit on the side fender, claimed that it was the motorist personnel trying to cause an accident. A campaign staffer told the Daily Beast that Trump supporters appeared to be trying to force the bus off the road.
911 transcripts reveal that senior San Marcos law enforcement officials have repeatedly denied providing the bus with a police escort, although police departments in neighboring jurisdictions along Interstate 35 l ‘ have done. When one of those jurisdictions recommended doing so, San Marcos Police Corporal Matthew Daenzer simply refused.
As the Biden bus entered San Marcos jurisdiction, a New Braunfels 911 dispatcher contacted the San Marcos Police dispatcher in an attempt to get him to take over the freeway escort provided by the city. The San Marcos 911 dispatcher put the other two dispatchers, along with a Biden campaign staff member calling for help, on hold and called Daenzer.
“I’m so annoyed that New Braunfels did this to us,” the dispatcher told Daenzer, who started laughing, according to the transcript. “They’ve got their officers escorting that Biden bus, basically, and the Trump train cuts between vehicles and driving, being aggressive and slowing them down to about 20 or 30 miles an hour. And they want you to respond to help.
“No, we’re not going to do it. We are going to “close the patrol”, but we are not going to escort a bus, “replied Daenzer.
The dispatcher then mockingly described the incoming call from Biden staff on the bus: “[T]he’s really pissed off about it and he’s breathing hard and stuff like, ‘They’re really aggressive.’ OK. Calm down, ”she told Daenzer.
Daenzer replied that the Biden bus should “drive defensively and that will be great.”
“Or get off the train,” the 911 dispatcher replied. “There’s an idea.
The dispatcher then returned to Biden’s staff member on the bus, telling him that there would be no escort: “If you feel like you are threatened or your life is threatened, call back. us definitely, ”she told him.
“Are you kidding, ma’am?” The employee replied. “They stopped me several times. They threatened my life on several occasions with vehicle collisions. I would like an escort immediately.
The dispatcher replied, “Okay. Our officers are not going to escort the train. They will be in the area to watch for traffic violations, but they are not there to escort. It is from our leader.
When the bus attempted to reach its meeting point in San Marcos, its path was blocked by Trump Train drivers. So, just as it had done with other venues, the campaign canceled its event there and continued on I-35 to Austin. When a member of Biden’s staff informed San Marcos Public Safety Director Chase Stapp that the bus was skipping the San Marcos event, he also pleaded with him to ask for an escort: “We could really need your help. “
Stapp, who had ignored previous warnings from incoming callers regarding the Trump train problem, informed his superiors of the cancellation but did not forward the escort request. San Marcos law enforcement also exchanged other texts afterwards, mocking the people on the Biden bus, referring to them using a right-wing insult indicating mental disability.
After the incident exploded into national news, San Marcos officials began circling the wagons, fearing they were about to be subjected to a “political storm” because of the “debacle”, according to the texts they shared. Daenzer tried to publicly downplay his department’s actions in his report, stating that “due to staff issues, lack of time to plan and lack of knowledge of the route, we were not able to provide an escort ”.
Wendy Davis, a former state senator who was running for Congress at the time, is among four plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Both this one and the first lawsuit against Trump Train participants are based on the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, which prohibits organizing such a “politically motivated plot” to disrupt the campaign and intimidate supporters.
“Although I have been involved in many political campaigns for myself and others over the past two decades, I have never experienced the threat or fear I felt when the ‘Trump Train “circled our bus,” Davis told CNN. “I am part of this lawsuit because I fear this kind of dangerous behavior threatens to become the new normal if we do not stop it.”
But Republicans have started to normalize this kind of threatening behavior by categorically supporting the highway thugs. Leading the parade was Donald Trump, who tweeted:
In my opinion, these patriots did nothing wrong. Instead, the FBI and the judiciary should investigate the terrorists, anarchists, and ANTIFA agitators, who are running around burning our Democrat-run cities and hurting our people!
The next day he went even further, claiming that a CNN report on the investigation was false: “This story is FALSE. They didn’t do anything wrong. But the ANTIFA anarchists, rioters and looters, who have caused so much damage and destruction in Democrat-ruled cities, are under serious scrutiny!
Trump also bragged about the trailer at campaign events. In Washington, Michigan, he tell the public: “Did you see the way our people protected his bus yesterday? Because they are nice. Saw his bus. They had hundreds of cars. Asset! Asset! Asset! And the American flag.
Republicans on the national scene joined them. At a Trump rally in Florida prior to his arrival, Senator Marco Rubio, who once denounced Trump’s indulgence in violent rhetoric, joined the Trump Train parade: “I saw a video of these people in Texas, “Rubio said.” Did you see him? All the cars on the road, we love what they’ve done.
The behavior of the San Marcos police is consistent with what has happened in the country’s jurisdictions: the police services not only tolerate the presence of right-wing extremists within their services, but have built a culture to both favorable to the radical right and hostile to the mainstream. democracy, especially when practiced by anyone they perceive to be more liberal, especially “leftists” such as Black Lives Matter or anti-fascists. This has had profound consequences for the communities they are charged with protecting, especially when it comes to enforcing laws to protect minorities, such as hate crime laws.
“History tells us that once a cycle of political violence begins, it becomes very difficult to stop it and it is communities of color that suffer,” said Mimi Marziani, president of the Texas Civil Rights Project. . “A nation governed by the rule of law cannot allow violence or political harassment to normalize, and we must hold accountable those who have engaged or failed to prevent such behavior. “