Hateful Protesters Made Me Uncomfortable, Says Arizona Policeman

Trump Supporters 'were restrained.'
March 20, 2016 Updated: March 20, 2016

Brandon Tatum, a police officer at the Tucson Police Department, shared his perspective on Donald Trump and the people protesting him after attending a Trump rally in Arizona. 

In a Facebook video, Tatum describes his own attitude as neutral going into the rally, and that he had even expected to hear slightly racist things from Trump and his supporters, but was instead shocked by the “dangerous” behavior of the anti-Trump protesters instead, who made him feel “uncomfortable.” 

Seeing Trump speak in person had surprised him, as he was expecting much more radical rhetoric.

“There was someone wearing a KKK hat saying [expletive] Donald Trump, flipping people off. The group that I had posted were saying [expletive] Donald Trump in front of these kids, they had families down there, I saw this one lady covering her daughter’s ears,” Tatum said. “These people are the most hateful, evil people I’ve ever seen. I could not believe what I saw.” 

At one point, Tatum thought that he was going to have to punch someone out of self-defense before the rally was over because the protesters were so aggressive. 

Tatum also said that seeing Trump speak in person had surprised him, as he was expecting much more radical rhetoric on issues like immigration and Islam. 

“He gained my respect. He didn’t say anything hateful against anybody. He said a lot of positive things,” Tatum said. “His character is a lot different from what you perceive it to be in the media.” 

[Trump’s supporters] were restrained. The violence was coming from these protesters.
— Brandon Tatum, Tucson police officer

Trump’s rallies had been characterized in the media as hostile to African Americans, and a video has been circulated of a white man sucker punching a black protester at a Trump rally in North Carolina. Tatum said that the stereotype was false. 

“I’m an African American man, I had no problems with people going against me or trying to hurt me because I wasn’t doing anything,” Tatum said. “[Trump’s supporters] were restrained. The violence was coming from these protesters.” 

Over the weekend, anti-Trump protesters had chained themselves to vehicles to block off a highway to prevent people from attending the rally in Tucson, Arizona. 

At the Tucson rally, a black attendee was filmed stomping on a white protester, who was part of a group where members donned KKK hoods, props used to suggest that Trump was racist. 

The Facebook video can be viewed here