During Donald Trump’s campaign, he employed private security and intelligence at his victory rallies, signaling a major break from tradition. Modern presidents and presidents-elect typically entrust their security entirely to the Secret Service, with event security mostly consisting of local law enforcement.
But Trump – who has made it known that he puts a premium on loyalty and has demonstrated considerable interest in having forceful security at all his events – has opted to maintain an aggressive stance during his campaign rallies, and has sustained it throughout 2018. Security officials have previously warned that employing private security personnel heightens risks, as well as for protesters, dozens who have alleged aggression and racial profiling at the hands of Trump’s security, with several lawsuits now pending against Trump and his security team.
In New York State, a judge has shut down the effort by Trump to dismiss one of these lawsuits levied against his private security guards for allegedly roughing up demonstrators who were protesting outside of the Trump tower months after announcing his presidential bid.
Bronx Supreme Court Justice Fernando Tapia declined to dismiss the suit filed by protesters who claimed they were roughed up back in 2015. The New York Law Journal reports that Tapia said that Trump “authorized and condoned” his security guards to rough up protesters, citing the president’s statement that “maybe they deserved to be roughed up” because he thought that what the protesters were doing was “absolutely disgusting.”
This particular lawsuit is being filed by five Latino activists who claim that they were faced with unmitigated aggression by Trump’s bodyguard Keith Schiller. Schiller is a retired New York City cop and Navy veteran who started working for Trump in 1999 as a part-time bodyguard, growing in the ranks to become Trump’s head of security — and who is currently being paid $15,000 per month as a “consultant” for security at the 2020 Republican Convention.
These activists can now move forward with their lawsuit.
Featured image via screen capture