Thursday, 3 September 2020

Florida man is charged with attacking a police officer who was escorting Rand Paul from the White House after Donald Trump's closing night address to the RNC

A Florida man has been charged with assault on a law enforcement officer who was protecting Senator Rand Paul when he was mobbed by protesters as he left the White House following Donald Trump's address to the RNC.
Paul and his wife were encircled by a crowd of protesters as they headed to their Washington DC hotel following Trump's address, and said they feared for their lives amid the 'crazed mob' of protesters. 
On Wednesday the Department of Justice announced that a man had been arrested following an attack on an officer.
Brennen Sermon, 27, of Orlando, Florida, was charged on August 28 - the day after Trump's speech.
Paul tweeted Wednesday night: 'One of the brave DC cops who likely saved Kelley and me was assaulted by one of the violent mob. The attacker was arrested and charged with assault, then released. (If you’re looking for him, maybe try Kenosha).' 
Rand Paul and his wife were confronted by protesters as they left the White House August 27
Rand Paul and his wife were confronted by protesters as they left the White House August 27
Paul, senator for Kentucky, said he feared for his life amid the 'attack' by the 'crazed mob'
Paul, senator for Kentucky, said he feared for his life amid the 'attack' by the 'crazed mob'
Rand Paul and his wife surrounded by mob after leaving RNC
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Paul tweeted on Wednesday night that Sermon had injured one of the police guarding him
Paul tweeted on Wednesday night that Sermon had injured one of the police guarding him
Police claim that, shortly after midnight, a Metropolitan Police Department officer was holding a police line at 14 and F Street NW when a protester kicked his bicycle and fled. 
The officer pursued, and police allege that Sermon punched the officer in the face, leaving him with a deep cut and a severe swelling above his left eye.
The officer was taken to hospital, and received stitches. 
A Department of Justice statement said that a preliminary review of body worn camera showed that the individual kicking the bicycle and the individual throwing the punch appear to be wearing different color shirts.
Sermon is currently only charged over the punching allegation, the DoJ said. 
Paul and his wife were encircled by a crowd of protesters as they headed to their Washington DC hotel
Paul and his wife were encircled by a crowd of protesters as they headed to their Washington DC hotel
Crowds of people tussled with law enforcement, and one officer had to go to hospital
Crowds of people tussled with law enforcement, and one officer had to go to hospital
If Sermon is convicted, he could face up to 180 days in prison. He could also face a fine of up to $1,000. 
Paul said the demonstrators - who had gathered around the White House in an attempt to drown out Trump's speech - were shouting threats to kill at him and wife Kelley as police tried to protect them.
Describing the moment, Paul told Fox News: 'They would have killed us had the police not been there.'
'The threats were to f— you up, to you know, to kill you. The threats were if they could get ahold of you, and I truly believe with every fiber of my being, had they gotten at us, they would have gotten us to the ground.

'We might not have been killed. We might just have been injured by being kicked in the head or kicked in the stomach until we were senseless. You’ve seen the pictures. Most of the networks will not show the pictures of this. This is happening in all of our cities. It's got to stop and thank God for the police.
'Had we not gotten to the police, I truly believe that the police saved our lives, and we would not be here today, or we’d be in a hospital today had the police not been there.'
Video shows the couple being surrounded by dozens of activists who began shouting at the pair as they tried to reach their hotel.
At one point an officer holding a bicycle to shield the couple from the demonstrators was shoved backwards, stumbling into Paul and almost knocking the Kentucky senator to the ground. 
It is not yet known if this is the same incident which led to Sermon's arrest. 
At one point a protester pushed a police officer carrying a bicycle (front right) who stumbled backwards into Paul (centre left), almost causing the Senator to fall to the ground
At one point a protester pushed a police officer carrying a bicycle (front right) who stumbled backwards into Paul (centre left), almost causing the Senator to fall to the ground
Police officers surrounded Rand and his wife and escorted them out of the crowd after people started to push
Police officers surrounded Rand and his wife and escorted them out of the crowd after people started to push
Rand Paul told Fox News that protesters 'wanted to kill us' and that, if it hadn't been for police, he fears he and his wife would have been knocked to the ground and beaten senseless
Rand Paul told Fox News that protesters 'wanted to kill us' and that, if it hadn't been for police, he fears he and his wife would have been knocked to the ground and beaten senseless
Video shows Paul and wife Kelley being surrounded by dozens of activists and aggressively accosted as they leave the Republican National Convention, where Trump had just accepted the party's nomination, as police officers try to hold the crowd back. 
Elsewhere that night, video showed activists aggressively harassing people including one man who was punched in the back of the head and knocked down, leaving him bloody.
Raucous protesters accosted Republican National Convention guests leaving the White House Thursday evening, hurling expletives and calling them racist
Raucous protesters accosted Republican National Convention guests leaving the White House Thursday evening, hurling expletives and calling them racist
When Trump started his speech dissidents set off firecrackers and amplified their chants in unison, all of which was audible from the South Lawn. Some horns were also audible in his televised speech broadcast
When Trump started his speech dissidents set off firecrackers and amplified their chants in unison, all of which was audible from the South Lawn. Some horns were also audible in his televised speech broadcast
Meanwhile RNC committeeman Chris Ager and his wife were repeatedly abused by a balaclava-wearing protester who threatened to 'f*** you up' as they tried to get into the doors of their hotel.
Describing how the incident came about, Paul said he and his wife had left the convention - held at the White House after being moved from North Carolina due to coronavirus - when they saw a large group of demonstrators blocking the route back to their hotel.
The couple boarded a bus taking them to the nearby Trump hotel, before deciding to turn back and reach the place they had originally agreed to stay.
It was on the way back that protesters happened to spot Paul, and descended on him, he claims.
'They all of a sudden saw me, right as we got to a policeman fortunately or I don’t think we would have survived,' he explained.
'We got to the policeman, and the policeman I don’t think recognized me and as they came closer they were shouting my name and the crowd doubled to 60 and then it doubled again to 120.
'As they were surrounding us and it got closer and closer and everybody kept pushing back, the policemen were forming a barricade with their bodies and I whispered, they know who I am you’ve got to get reinforcements it’s going to get worse.'
Paul said the protesters were also shouting the name Breonna Taylor at him, an EMT who was shot dead in his state of Kentucky after police raided her apartment using a no-knock warrant.
Describing the protesters as 'idiots', Paul said he has introduced legislation called the Justice for Breonna Taylor act that would ban the use of such warrants across the US.
Paul also questioned whether the demonstrators had been brought in from out of state, and said he fears the whole of the US will become like Portland - where protesters set up an autonomous zone before
Rand was just one of many guests accosted by protesters as they left the White House.
Activists carried banners depicting Trump as Hitler, while some set up mock guillotines on the streets of the Capitol
Activists carried banners depicting Trump as Hitler, while some set up mock guillotines on the streets of the Capitol
Hundreds of demonstrators had gathered near the White House for a party aimed at drowning out Trump's speech, but scenes turned progressively ugly as the night wore on
Hundreds of demonstrators had gathered near the White House for a party aimed at drowning out Trump's speech, but scenes turned progressively ugly as the night wore on
As guests dressed in suits and dresses left the convention, they were bombarded by protesters in the streets who booed them, shouting 'You racist a**' and 'Jacob Blake'.
The heckled guests kept walking even as demonstrators gave them the middle finger and insulted them.
Earlier in the evening protesters blared bullhorns, rang bells, and chanted 'No justice, no peace!' and 'Black Lives Matter' when Ivanka Trump introduced her father shortly before 10.30pm.
When Trump started his speech, dissidents set off firecrackers and amplified their chants in unison, all of which was audible from the South Lawn.
Blow horns could be heard in the televised broadcast of Trump's speech. 
Hundreds of activists had gathered outside the White House to protest Trump's nomination acceptance speech, trying to drown it out with air horns and fireworks.
While demonstrations started peacefully things grew progressively ugly as the night wore on, with attendees forced to run a gauntlet of angry activists as they tried to leave the event.

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