Two black protesters filed a lawsuit against the Trump campaign and the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC) after being attacked by Trump supporters at a rally last year.
Mercutio Terrell Southall, Sr., a Black Lives Matter activist, and Carlos Montez Chaverst, Jr., a Birmingham activist, sued for $1 million in damages, reports AL.com.
The central tenet of their suit is the assumption that a ticket purchase to a Trump rally also comes with the reasonable expectation of protection, for which the Trump campaign would be responsible.
“The BJCC and the Trump campaign must be held responsible for failing to provide the required leadership during the Donald Trump rally and the required security,” the lawsuit claims.
Last year, Southall led a “Black Lives Matter” and “Dump the Trump” chant at a Trump rally in Birmingham, Alabama. At one point, Southall fell to the ground and Trump supporters appear to punch and kick him, according to video of the incident.
Southall alleged that one supporter tried to choke him; while that is not clearly seen in the video obtained by CNN, a woman can be heard shouting “Don’t choke him! Don’t choke him!”
Southall did not need medical attention, nor did he ask to file any charges, Birmingham Police Lt. Sean Edward said at the time.
According to the lawsuit, footage from the attack was submitted to the court.
“The footage of the attack is a reflection of Birmingham’s ugly racist past, a past where blacks are routinely set upon and beaten by angry mobs,” the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit alleges that both men suffered from physical and psychological damage; Southall had cuts on his face and neck and got a concussion from the attack, the lawsuit alleges. Chaverst claims he suffered from bruises and emotional stress.
The lawsuit says that the venue and the Trump campaign failed to provide adequate security and broke a contract with the two men when they purchased tickets and believed they would be reasonably protected.
A BJCC spokesperson said that the venue has not received a copy of the lawsuit yet and they are unable to comment on pending lawsuits.
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