A federal judge in Kentucky declined to dismiss a lawsuit against President Donald Trump for allegedly inciting violence against several protestors at a March 2016 campaign rally in Louisville, Ky.
As the Associated Press explains, the action was brought by three demonstrators –Kashiya Nwanguma, Molly Shah and Henry Brousseau — who were shoved and harangued by Trump supporters after they attempted to disrupt a campaign rally on March 2. The protestors say they were attacked by members of the crowd at Trump’s bidding.
Incitement occurs when an individual encourages others to commit acts of violence.
“Get ’em out of here,” Trump said, as the disruption unfolded.
U.S. District Judge David Hale of the Western District of Kentucky, a Barack Obama appointee, rejected a motion brought by lawyers representing the president, who argued the suit should be dismissed because Trump’s statements were not meant to encourage violence, and therefore were protected by the First Amendment.
“It is plausible that Trump’s direction to ‘get ‘em out of here’ advocated the use of force,” Hale wrote. “It was an order, an instruction, a command. Trump’s statement at least implicitly encouraged the use of violence or lawless action.”
The protestors themselves sustained mild injuries. Hale said that their injuries were the “direct and proximate result” of Trump’s directives.
Nwanguma, who is black, also claims members of the crowd hurled racial and ethnic slurs as she departed the scene.
A federal magistrate judge will supervise the discovery phase of the litigation, and any possible settlement conferences.
The demonstrators are seeking monetary damages.
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