Donald Trump at his campaign rally in Louisville on Tuesday | Photo by Nathan Roberson
Donald Trump at his campaign rally in Louisville | Photo by Nathan Roberson

Three protesters who filed criminal complaints claiming they were assaulted at a Louisville campaign rally for Donald Trump have now filed a civil lawsuit against their alleged attackers, as well as against the GOP presidential candidate himself for allegedly inciting a riot and negligently failing to provide proper security at the event.

Shiya Nwanguma, Molly Shah and Henry Brousseau sued three individuals for alleged assault/battery: white supremacist Matthew Heimbach, an unnamed female affiliated with Heimbach’s white nationalist organization, and Alvin Bamberger of Ohio. Video of Heimbach and Bamberger shoving Nwanguma — along with Trump yelling “get ’em out of here!” — was widely shared and became a national story.

Trump and his campaign are being sued for allegedly inciting a riot at the rally, with the lawsuit claiming that “in directing his supporters to eject peaceful protesters using harmful physical force, Trump intended to create a public disturbance involving an assemblage of five or more persons which by tumultuous and violent conduct created grave danger of damage or injury.” The complaint goes on to state that Trump’s speech was “calculated to incite violence” against the plaintiffs, and therefore is not protected by the First Amendment.

The complaint also accused Trump and his campaign of negligently failing to provide proper security for those present, which led to the alleged assaults against the three plaintiffs by Trump supporters.

The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and punitive damage for the injuries they suffered.

The complaint described Trump as “the former host of a popular reality TV show from 2005-2015, a former part-owner of the Miss Universe pageant, an occasional featured guest on WWE’s Wrestlemania, and the current front-runner for the Republican nomination in the race for president in the United States of America.”

Alluding to the repeated presence of violence at Trump rallies, the introduction to the complaint states that protests at political rallies are a protected tradition, but that Trump “has decided to break with American tradition and the rule of law by inciting his supporters to physically attack” them, often carrying “the blatant stamp of racism, religious intolerance, misogyny, or any combination of the three.”

The civil complaint filed in Jefferson Circuit Court on Thursday only offers the plaintiffs’ side of the events.

The full lawsuit can be read below:

Trump Lawsuit

[dc_ad size="9"] [dc_ad size="10"]
Joe Sonka
Joe Sonka is a staff writer at Insider Louisville focusing on government, politics, education and public safety. He is a former news editor and staff writer at LEO Weekly and has also freelanced for The Nation and ThinkProgress. He has won first place awards from the Louisville Metro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists in the categories of Health Reporting, Enterprise Reporting, Government/Politics, Minority/Women’s Affairs Reporting, Continuing Coverage and Best Blog. Email him at [email protected]