Inciting violence? Trump sued in Kentucky over violent rally

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump. © Mark Kauzlarich
Presidential candidate Donald Trump is being sued by three Kentucky residents who claim the Republican frontrunner encouraged “harmful, physical violence” against protesters at a rally in early March.

Filed on Thursday, the lawsuit claims that three people – identified as Kashiya Nwanguma, 21; Molly Shah, 36; and Henry Brousseau, 17 – were attacked, shoved and called racial slurs at a Louisville rally on March 1. It also says that Trump incited violence against the three protesters by telling the crowd to “get them out.”

"Each time he said 'get them out,' Trump intended for his supporters to use unwanted, harmful physical violence to remove protesters," the lawsuit states, according to NBC News.

During the Louisville rally, Nwanguma, who is black, was seen on video being shoved in the back by an older white man wearing a Korean War Veterans Association (KWVA) outfit as Trump and numerous rally attendees shouted “get out.” The lawsuit claims that some people shouted racial slurs at Nwanguma and names two individuals who she says shoved her aggressively.

One of them men named in the suit is Alvin Bamberger of the KWVA, who has since apologized about shoving Nwanguma and said he overreacted, NBC reported.

“I physically pushed a young woman down the aisle toward the exit, an action I sincerely regret,” Bamberger wrote in a letter to KWVA President Larry Kinard, according to Military.com. "I have embarrassed myself, my family, and Veterans. This was a very unfortunate incident and it is my sincere hope that I can be forgiven for my actions."

Elsewhere, the lawsuit against Trump and his campaign claims that Brousseau was punched by a “white nationalist” and that Shah was shoved, NBC reported. While police reports were filed, no arrests were made.

Violence at Trump’s rallies continues to dog the candidate’s campaign, with many liberals and conservatives claiming that he encourages violent behavior with his heated comments and intense rallies. At a North Carolina rally last month, a 78-year-old man punched a protester as he was being escorted out of the event by security. He was arrested and charged with assault.

Following that incident, police considered charging Trump with incitement of violence before declining to do so.

At a rally in Arizona, a man was videotaped kicking and punching a protester.

Even Trump’s campaign manager has been involved in physical confrontations. He’s been accused of assaulting a reporter who tried to ask Trump a question, and video footage showed him grabbing the collar of a protester at another Trump event.

Meanwhile, Trump himself has courted controversy by stating on more than one occasion that he would either pay the legal fees of his supporters who physically assault protesters, or at least consider paying them. Trump has also repeatedly said he does not condone violence, though at the same time he has refused to criticize the behavior when it occurs.

“We don't condone violence. And I say it. And we have very little violence, very, very little violence at the rallies,” he said in late March. He has criticized protesters as “very disruptive” and “not innocent.” He also argued that they are “really stopping our First Amendment rights.”