Politics

The Louisville residents who were allegedly assaulted at a Donald Trump rally earlier this year are suing the presidential frontrunner.

They filed a lawsuit Thursday in Jefferson Circuit Court.

In the suit, plaintiffs Kashiya Nwanguma, Molly Shah and Henry Brousseau allege Trump incited, endorsed and encouraged violent incidents at a rally for his campaign earlier this year.

All three say they attended the rally with the intent to peacefully protest.

“Just to protest the xenophobic and racist and sexist comments that Donald Trump has been making throughout the course of his campaign,” Shah said Friday. “That’s what Americans do.”

Once inside the rally, which was held at the Kentucky International Convention Center in downtown Louisville, the plaintiffs claim their efforts to protest peacefully were met with violence.

“For absolutely no reason,” Nwanguma said.

Nwanguma alleges in the suit she was violently assaulted by Trump supporters Matthew Heimbach and Alvin Bamberger. She said she was shoved, struck and subjected to racial and ethnic slurs.

“I was absolutely surprised,” she said.

Heimbach and Bamberger are named as defendants in the suit, along with Trump. Heimbach is believed to be associated with a the Traditionalist Worker Party, a suspected hate group, according to the suit.

Bamberger is seen in a video from the rally repeatedly shoving Nwanguma.

Shah alleges in the suit she was “shoved and pushed by multiple Trump supporters.” In the days following the rally, Shah claims she experienced pain and had trouble sleeping.

“I have a daughter, and I’m scared of raising her in a country where she would be a target of this kind of xenophobic and racist bigotry and fascism, and it really makes me scared,” she said.

Brousseau alleges in the suit that he was punched in the stomach at the rally by a member of the Traditionalist Worker Party. Since the rally, Brousseau claims he’s experienced anxiety and nightmares, according to the suit.

“I think it says a lot about the speech Donald Trump is espousing that fosters and creates the perfect environment for this kind of violence,” he said Friday. “It was such a traumatic experience.”

Shah said more protesters were attacked during the rally. The plaintiffs declined to say why more of them haven’t joined the lawsuit.

All three plaintiffs have filed criminal complaints with the Louisville Metro Police Department as well. They declined to say whether police present at the rally could have done more to protect protesters.

Nwanguma said she went to the hospital in the days following the rally but was instructed by her attorney, Dan Canon, to not detail her injuries for reporters.

Canon said the plaintiffs would seek damages in the suit, but he did not give specifics. He also declined to say whether he and the other attorneys on the case are providing their services pro bono.

The plaintiffs said they would not be attending another Donald Trump rally.

“I don’t see it necessary to go protest again,” Nwanguma said. “From now on, I think I’ll just go through the judicial system and let that take of what I want to do.”

A spokesperson for Trump’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Jacob Ryan is a reporter for the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.