Texas Police Allegedly Let the ‘Trump Train’ Nearly Crash Into a Biden Bus

The cops joked about the 911 call they received and wouldn't help, according to calls and emails obtained for the lawsuit.
Attendees ride in a pickup truck during a "Trump Train" rally in Laredo, Texas, U.S., on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020.
Attendees ride in a pickup truck during a "Trump Train" rally in Laredo, Texas, U.S., on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. (Sergio Flores/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

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When a caravan of at least 50 Texas Trump supporters in their cars began driving erratically to harass a campaign bus last October for then-presidential candidate Joe Biden, local police shrugged off the threat and refused to help, according to a new lawsuit filed by campaign staffers last week.

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The cops even laughed and joked about the request, according to 911 calls and emails obtained for the suit. 

On Oct. 30 last year, the so-called “Trump Train,” waving MAGA and Confederate flags, surrounded the Biden-Harris bus, sometimes coming within three or four inches of sideswiping it, according to the lawsuit. Some vehicles braked abruptly in front of the bus, forcing the large vehicle to drive “dangerously slow” on the highway, while others swerved their vehicles in an effort to drive the bus onto the throughway’s shoulder. At least one person in the Trump caravan slammed into the SUV of a campaign staffer who was following close behind the bus.

Those on board the bus tried to contact police repeatedly to request an escort, but their pleas were never answered. The ordeal went on for at least 90 minutes before law enforcement a town over agreed to step in and help the bus get away from the procession of Trump supporters.

Now, two Biden-Harris campaign workers, the driver of the bus, and a former Texas state senator are suing for failing to intervene in the on-road confrontation on Oct. 30, 2020. And they’ve got audio recordings and text messages to prove it.

“No, we’re not going to do it,” police Cpl. Matthew Daenzer told a dispatcher, according to a call between the two cited in the lawsuit. He later added that they’d monitor the train for traffic violations at most, ad he suggested that the bus drive defensively or just leave the dangerous predicament they were in.

The dispatcher mocked the frantic campaign staffer who tried to report it to them.

“One of the guys following the Biden train’s like, ‘They’re being aggressive, na-na-meh-meh,’” she said during a conversation with Daenzer over the phone.

The dispatcher would later relay the corporal’s message to one of the campaign staffers who was there.

The lawsuit also alleges that city officials named in the lawsuit knew that the bus was going to be traveling through the predominantly Republican state and local Trump supporters had plans to intersect the bus. Those supporters indicated as much in Facebook groups like New Braunfels Trump Train days before the drive-through.

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“Join us in San Antonio to follow the [bus],” read one tweet posted to Facebook (and included in the lawsuit) ahead of the bus’s trip across San Antonio, Austin, and San Marcos. It was shared 22 times.

“Trolling is fun!” read another tweet posted by Twitter user @truthserum4all, according to screenshots included in the lawsuit. “Join us in San Antonio to escort the Biden [bus] coming through. We are on the bridges and will intercept at Walters/I35.”

The New Braunfels Trump Train Facebook group has since been deleted, according to the lawsuit.

The Biden campaign had warned San Marcos Assistant Police Chief Brandon Wikenwerder and Public Safety Director Chase Stapp about the threats ahead of time, according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit says officials in Austin, San Antonio, and New Braunfels, a small city between San Antonio and San Marcos, had acted ahead of time and kept them safe. San Marcos officials allegedly did not. 

In addition to Daenzer, Winkenwerder, and Stapp, the lawsuit names the city of San Marcos.

The campaign bus wouldn’t find a reprieve until they crossed into the city of Kyle, Texas, where police agreed to provide an escort and protect it from the group of Trump motorists, according to the lawsuit. The encounter made the Biden-Harris campaign cancel the rest of their cross-state tour.

Lawyers for the Biden-Harris campaign staffers argue that when cops failed to help escort the caravan, they violated the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, which prohibits groups from obstructing free and fair federal elections by intimidating voters and denying them the ability to engage in political speech. The act was passed at the time to prevent the white supremacist group from interfering in elections by terrorizing newly freed Black slaves who were then eligible to vote after the Civil War.

Neither the city of San Marcos nor the San Marcos Police Department immediately responded to VICE News’ requests for comment