Court Sides with Donald Trump Supporters, Allowing Lawsuit Against SJPD to Proceed

A federal appeals court on Friday allowed Donald Trump supporters to proceed with a lawsuit against San Jose police, claiming officers led them into a crowd of protesters.

Three judges from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals determined that Juan Hernandez has grounds to sue the San Jose Police Department over the way it managed the fallout from a June 2, 2016, rally for then-presidential candidate Trump.

Nineteen Trump fans represented by Republican Party official Harmeet Dhillon sued the city and individual officers, accusing police of “shepherding” them into the fray and blocking their escape from assaultive protesters.

The justices ruled that the plaintiffs “have alleged sufficiently that the officers increased the danger to them” and acted with “deliberate indifference to that danger.”

Hernandez alleges that city officials were politically motivated to let the protesters duke it out, according to news reports. He claims that police stood by for 90 minutes before trying to break up the fights and make arrests. Officers, however, argued that they feared the violence would escalate if they reacted more aggressively.

The judicial panel rejected the city’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit. San Jose’s City Council will have to decide how to move forward, whether that means taking the case to the entire 9th Circuit, appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court or going to trial.


  1. From the Mercury Newsless:

    “The suit initially named Mayor Sam Liccardo and Police Chief Eddie Garcia as defendants. But U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh last year dismissed claims against Garcia. The attendees dropped claims against Liccardo in November 2016.

    The suit proceeds against seven named city officers. But the 9th Circuit opinion did not uphold liability claims against the city itself that were based on the assertion that the police chief, in comments supporting his officers after the rally, effectively ratified their allegedly unconstitutional conduct.”


    It looks look Liccardo and Chief Garcia skated, and that “seven named city officers” are being hung out to dry.

    Liccardo and Garcia are NOT in control of their Police Department?

    • Great leaders, they let their officers hang out today. Great loyalty Chief. You should be asham of yourself. Officer take orders from the top. Now are your Officers going to follow your orders. Great leaders take responsibility. I guess you forgot that principal. You don’t have the right to wear that uniform.

  2. A low point in CA and US politics. Barefaced, city-sanctioned political violence just because they can. Anyone stating anything but disgust for this whole sorted affair is propagandized, pure and simple. Imagine if it were white men waiting outside a DEM political rally attended by mostly Blacks and the cops just watched the mob, which was lying in wait for hours, chase, corner, egg, and verbally accost small black women. If you are making excuses for Licardo, these “cops”, or Garcia, you are as bad as the southern apologists of the last century.

  3. They should all be fired. That’s what happens is cities of nonreligious, protected showflakes. Who would west coast outhouse.

  4. I cannot speak to or condone any of the attacks that occurred but I did witness one personally. The woman in the Trump 45 jersey who was egged assumed that because she was walking behind a line of police and behind a barricade—- she could do whatever she liked to express her First Amendment rights. This included but was not limited to: flipping the bird to protesters, shouting that they were illegal and should go back to Mexico, pointing and taunting. When she got to the end of the line of police and the barricades separating her from protesters ended, she was surrounded by the same people she had just insulted. She was followed, cornered and egged. In this one instance, she poked the bear, and the bear poked back.

    • Justice Ginsberg takes the high ground and declines to condone attacks on Trump supporters . . . .

      > I cannot speak to or condone any of the attacks that occurred ….

      And then . . . condones the attacks…

      “… she was surrounded by the same people she had just insulted. She was followed, cornered and egged. In this one instance, she poked the bear, and the bear poked back.”

    • Does that mean all of the 2A people now get to poke back too? What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. But maybe a better idea is to arrest those that assault others in the first place so we don’t start a vicious cycle… just a thought.

    • I was there. I did not say anything to anyone as I tried to get back home. I was directed by the police directly into the path of angry demonstrators. I was spit on and threatened by a large woman waving a Mexican flag. I am a small senior lady. I was followed all the way to the light rail station by thugs waving Mexican flags. Not good. Drain the swamp in San Jose of those who stood down and let folks be attacked because of their political beliefs. Not good. Not fake news.

    • “poked the bear”

      Interesting legal standard, can you cite the opinion Justice Ginsberg lays that one out? Being a fan and all.

      How exactly is “poking” defined and who is the bear?

    • > The woman in the Trump 45 jersey . . . assumed that because she was walking behind a line of police and behind a barricade—- she could do whatever she liked to express her First Amendment rights.

      So, Justice Ginsberg thinks that assuming the ability to express one’s First Amendment rights is NOT a blameless assumption?

      Justice Ginsberg should spend some quality time understanding what most Americans understand (and like) about their First Amendment rights and prepare for some SERIOUS pushback against Silicon Valley oligarchs and Democratic senators who are openly ventilating about the ideas and people that they intend to shut down.

      “Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., is calling on other tech companies to ban more sites like InfoWars, and says the survival of American democracy depends on it.”

      The First Amendment was not adopted to protect Barney the Purple Dinosaur. It was adopted to protect Alex Jones and InfoWars from Chris Murphy, Mark Zuckerberg, Eric Schmidt, George Soros, “AntiFA”, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Democrat Party.

      “Southern Poverty Law Center Hate Map”

      –>> Conservative Forum of Silicon Valley
      –>>Cupertino, California

      Comedian Lenny Bruce once famously said:

      “If you can’t say f*ck, you can’t say f*ck the goverment”

      “That’s what that Amendment was designed to do. To allow the people to not be punished for diverse thoughts or thoughts that may not be popular or thoughts that may even be hateful. But nevertheless are protected. And not only that, the Amendment also covers freedom of religion, and also the separation of religion from government.”

      — Lewis Black, First Amendment Attorney

      A prediction for “Hate Trump” activists; The “blue wave” won’t work if there is high voter turnout for Trump candidates. Trump will likely try to “nationalize” the election to generate high turnout, and violations of free speech and gun rights are hot button national issues.

      Go ahead. Make my day. Ban more internet sites. People notice, and it makes them MAD!

  5. What’s interesting about this ruling is the judge did not say they failed to protect (as you note, not generally liable), but that they took actions that forced the Trump supporters into MORE dangerous conditions, and they can be held liable for that. I’m not a lawyer, but it seems like the difference between an officer not putting out a road flare at an accident and an officer directing you off the road and into a ditch.

  6. Ba, ba, ba, but some police cars say to provide and protect safety for our citizens. Where did it go wrong.

  7. > By Silicon Valley Newsroom

    “Silicon Valley” should probably be worried about it’s increasingly shabby and toxic public image:

    “ARE TECH GIANTS WORKING TOGETHER TO CENSOR CONSERVATIVES? — Apple, YouTube and Facebook BAN Infowars on Same Day”

    “How Apple and Google are censoring the mobile web”

    Apple is a trillion dollar CORPORATION. So-called “progressives” have wrung their hands over “big corporations” running roughshod over the “rights of the people”.

    Well, it’s hard to argue with “progressives” over this one.

    “Big Silicon Valley” is probably TOO big. Time to bust them up.

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