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Texas city refused escort to protect Biden bus

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Texas city refused escort to protect Biden bus

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SAN MARCOS, Texas (AP) – Police officials in a central Texas town refused to provide an escort for a Joe Biden campaign bus as he was surrounded by supporters of the then president, Donald Trump, on a highway, alleges an amended lawsuit filed at the 2020 meeting.

The updated lawsuit, filed Friday, included transcribed audio recordings of 911, the Texas Tribune reported. The lawsuit alleges law enforcement officers in San Marcos “laughed in private” and “joked about the victims and their distress” in the audio recordings.

The city of San Marcos did not respond to a request for comment from the newspaper. A spokesperson previously said the city and the San Marcos Police Department would not comment due to the ongoing litigation.

Videos shared on social media from October 30, 2020 show a group of cars and vans – many of which are adorned with large Trump flags – beside the campaign bus as it traveled from San Antonio to Austin. The “Trump Train” sometimes cashed in the bus. At one point, one of the pickup trucks collided with an SUV behind the bus.

The Biden bus was heading to San Marcos for a political event that Democrats ended up canceling. Neither Biden nor his running mate, then-Sen. Kamala Harris, were on board. Then-President Donald Trump criticized the FBI at the time after the agency said it was investigating.

According to the transcripts, when the Biden bus entered San Marcos jurisdiction, a New Braunfels 911 dispatcher attempted to have San Marcos police take over the escort New Braunfels had provided along the route. ‘Interstate 35. A police corporal told a San Marcos dispatcher “we’re not going to escort a bus,” according to the documents.

The dispatcher told a bus passenger to call back if the appellant felt threatened.

“Are you kidding, ma’am?” The caller answered. “They stopped me several times. They threatened my life several times with vehicle collisions.

According to the documents, Chase Stapp, the director of public safety, subsequently texted the police that “from what I can understand, the Biden bus never even got off I-35. thanks to the Trump escort “. In subsequent emails, police called it a “debacle” and prepared for a “political firestorm”.

A report of the incident four days later cited “personnel problems, a lack of time to plan and a lack of knowledge of the route” as reasons why the police did not provide an escort.

However, Lisa Prewitt, a former San Marcos City Council member who was running for county commission at the time, told the Tribune that she informed local law enforcement 24 hours before the event. and had raised security concerns.

The lawsuit alleges that the police and the city violated an 1871 law that is often referred to as the “Ku Klux Klan Act,” originally designed to end political violence against black people. She seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

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