Trump Private Security Had Free Rein On Use of Force

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Donald Trump’s private security guards lacked basic procedures and policies, including for the use of force, giving guards free rein during the campaign and transition to confront physically protesters and journalists they found objectionable, Politico reports. During a 2015 protest at Trump Tower, a Trump security guard forcibly escorted a protester away from the building’s entrance because he believed incorrectly that the adjacent sidewalk was Trump’s property, according to his testimony in a civil lawsuit. Trump security director Keith Schiller, a retired New York City detective who joined Trump’s White House staff this month, said he decided to place his hands on Univision’s Jorge Ramos while ejecting him from a 2015 press conference because Ramos was “not listening or not being cordial or respectful to Mr. Trump or his colleagues, because he spoke out of term (sic).”

The sworn testimony was ordered in connection with a lawsuit  against the guards, the Trump Organization, the Trump campaign and Trump himself by participants in the September 2015 Trump Tower protest. The protesters claim they “were violently attacked” by Trump’s security “for the express purpose of interfering with their political speech.” The depositions paint a picture of a security operation guided more by instinct than procedures, where employees were not subject to background checks or regular evaluations, and where lines were blurred between Trump’s campaign, his corporation and the Secret Service. Schiller now is Trump’s director of Oval Office operations.

 

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