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The Ninth Circuit Court has ruled that a lawsuit by injured Trump supporters against San Jose and seven of its police officers can proceed.
A three-judge panel unanimously affirmed U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh of the Northern District of California’s 2017 ruling denying the city of San Jose’s efforts to dismiss the suit against seven police officers. The plaintiffs say the officers channeled them into a violent crowd on June 2, 2016, as they exited a rally for then-presidential candidate Trump at the McEnery Convention Center. Rally-goers say they were punched and pelted with eggs while nearby law enforcement officers did nothing to protect them.
“We find the officers violated clearly established rights and are not entitled to qualified immunity at this stage of the proceedings,” Senior Judge Dorothy Wright Nelson wrote for the panel, which also included Judges Andrew Kleinfeld and William Fletcher. “Being attacked by anti-Trump protesters was only a possibility when the attendees arrived at the rally,” Nelson wrote. “The officers greatly increased that risk of violence when they shepherded and directed the attendees towards the unruly mob waiting outside the Convention Center.”
The panel also declined to block the 20 plaintiffs’ claims against San Jose, which Koh allowed to stand, saying it lacked jurisdiction to consider that portion of the city’s appeal.
Unfortunately, the big fish will get off scott free.
The suit originally named San Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia and Mayor Sam Liccardo. Liccardo was dropped as a defendant from an amended version of the suit in November 2016 and Koh’s ruling dismissed claims against Garcia.