Trump settles lawsuit with protesters over alleged 2015 security brawl

Trump settles lawsuit with protesters over alleged 2015 security brawl


Former President Donald Trump settled the lawsuit Wednesday, just days before a trial in a lawsuit filed by protesters who claimed they were manhandled by his security staff outside Trump Tower in New York in 2015.

Details of the settlement have not been released, but jury selection is underway for the civil trial presided over by Bronx Judge Doris Gonzalez, according to court documents.

In a brief joint statement announcing the settlement, Trump and the protesters said: “All parties agree that plaintiffs in the action, and all people, have the right to peacefully protest on public sidewalks.”

The lawsuit was brought by five New Yorkers of Mexican descent, led by Efrain Galicia, who alleged that Trump’s bodyguards confronted them while demonstrated outside the building on Sept. 3, 2015, over anti-Mexican comments Trump made during his presidential campaign.

The case sought punitive damages after claims that Trump’s bodyguard Keith Schiller and others punched one of the men in the head while trying to grab a sign that read, “Make America Racist Again!” Schiller is earlier he said that he was simply trying to make space on the sidewalk and that he only hit the protester after the man grabbed him from behind.

“The plaintiffs are proud to have settled their claims and to have received Donald Trump’s written acknowledgment of their right to protest on a public sidewalk,” their attorney, Benjamin Dictor, said in a statement to The Washington Post on Thursday.

“Powerful people can put their names on buildings, but the sidewalk will always belong to the people,” Diktor added.

Trump was named as a defendant in the lawsuit, along with the Trump Organization, his presidential campaign and several security men, according to court documents.

Gonzalez 2019 he said Trump’s testimony was “necessary” to the trial and ordered the then-president to attend the videotaped testimony. In the 2021 statement transcriptTrump said Schiller “didn’t do anything wrong,” and when asked about the details of the fight, Trump said he “didn’t know about it.”

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Trump’s attorney, Alina Habba, said in a statement: “While we were eager to proceed with the trial to demonstrate the frivolity of this case, the parties were ultimately able to reach an amicable settlement. We are very pleased with this outcome and happy to finally put this matter to rest once and for all.”

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The former president is involved in a handful of others legal casesincluding government documents found at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida and allegations that he tried to interfere in the 2020 Georgia election count. He also faces investigations related to the role he played in the run-up to January 62021, attack on US Capitol.

In May, the Trump Organization and the presidential inaugural committee agreed to pay DC $750,000 to settle the lawsuit the city filed a lawsuit, alleging that the organizations misused nonprofit funds to benefit the former president and his family.

Separately, his eponymous organization, including its payroll processing subsidiary, the Trump Payroll Corporation, is on trial in New York Supreme Court on charges of alleged scheme to defraud, conspiracy, criminal tax fraud and falsification of business records.

Trump and three of his grown children who served as executives at the company have not been personally charged. The criminal trial began last week and could last up to six weeks.

Shayna Jacobs in New York contributed to this report.

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