Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump has again courted controversy, with supporters of his at a rally tossing a “Black Lives Matter” protester from a rally in Birmingham, Alabama, on Nov. 21.
The protester, who is black, disrupted Trump as he was speaking and pulled off his sweatshirt to show a “Black Lives Matter” T-shirt underneath before heckling him.
In response, Trump yelled, “Get him the hell out of here” and the crowd of 3,000 started cheering before booing the protesters. Security escorted the man out of the rally.
However, things got dicey after Trump said he needed to leave. The protester apparently got into a physical altercation with a Trump supporter, which was captured by a CNN reporter in the crowd. “Several attendees at the rally punched and kicked a protester who tried to disrupt Trump’s speech,” CNN wrote. “At least a half-dozen attendees shoved and tackled the protester, a black man, to the ground as he refused to leave the event. At least one man punched the protester and a woman kicked him while he was on the ground.”
Several attendees at the rally punched and kicked a protester who tried to disrupt Trump’s speech.
At least a half-dozen attendees shoved and tackled the protester, a black man, to the ground as he refused to leave the event. At least one man punched the protester and a woman kicked him while he was on the ground.
Trump addressed the incident on Fox News on Nov. 22 when host Ed Henry asked him about the protester, saying that an “African-American protester from Black Lives Matter who appears to have gotten roughed up.” Trump said later, “Maybe he should have been roughed up.”
“I will tell you that the man that was–was I don’t know you say roughed up, he was so obnoxious and so loud, he was screaming. I had 10,000 people in the room yesterday, 10,000 people, and this guy started screaming by himself and they — I don’t know, rough up, he should have been–maybe he should have been roughed up because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing,” Trump said on the Fox News broadcast, according to a transcript of his comments.
“This was not handled the way Bernie Sanders handled his problem, I will tell you, but I have a lot of fans and they were not happy about it. And this was a very obnoxious guy, who was a troublemaker, was looking to make trouble, but I didn’t get to see the event,” Trump said, referring to when protesters took over a rally featuring Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who sat back and the let the protesters speak.
In all, there were three protesters at Trump’s event. According to the Montgomery Advertiser, two of them stopped and complied, but a third man did not, without elaborating.
“The guy was being disruptive,” the staff member told the paper. “He was doing the Black Lives Matter thing and saying other phrases that were really firing up the crowd around him. He was throwing his hands around almost punching.”
Another Trump staff member, speaking about a different incident where a protester had to be escorted out, said it’s important to know why people get kicked out of rallies.
“It was a safety issue,” the staffer said. “The guy was intentionally antagonizing the crowd.”