Categories: CommunityStrange Fruit

Louisville Protester At Center Of Trump Rally Video Speaks Out

Multiple protesters at the rally on Tuesday in Louisville for Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump allege they were pushed by other rally attendees, and some have begun filing police complaints over the incidents.

One particular incident from the Trump rally, caught on video by WLKY, has gotten widespread attention from a national audience. The video shows an African-American woman being pushed and yelled at by several men on the floor of the Kentucky International Convention Center.

Shiya Nwanguma is the woman at the center of the video.

Nwanguma, a 21-year-old University of Louisville student majoring in public health, spoke Thursday with Jaison Gardner and Kaila Story, hosts of WFPL’s Strange Fruit, about why she attended the rally, and how the events unfolded. (Listen to the interview in the above audio player.)

Nwanguma said she went to protest at the rally alone.

“I felt like if I had a lot of people with me, it might have caused a lot of ruckus and a lot of trouble,” she said. “And while I did want to take a stand, I was mainly concerned about going there to take a stand to show Donald Trump himself. I didn’t want to antagonize his supporters whatsoever.”

She said she slowly made her way to the front of the crowd, then held up two signs that had Trump’s face Photoshopped onto a pig’s body.

“That’s not nice. I know it’s not nice. I know it’s not a positive thing,” she said. “But I thought it was harmless.”

Nwanguma said people were already trying to take the signs from her hands when Trump saw her from the podium and told the crowd to get her out.

“And then that’s when everybody started to attack me,” she said.

By the time the video starts, she’s been pushed nearly to the back of the room, she said. She said the men seen pushing her on the video hadn’t seen her signs and didn’t know why she was being ejected.

Nwanguma said she has an attorney and they haven’t yet decided whether to file charges against the people who pushed her.

“There were some pretty awful things said. I was called the N-word. I was called the C-word,” she said.

Louisville Metro Police said they would investigate any complaints from protesters regarding incidents during the rally. Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Wine said Thursday that his office would bring to a grand jury any felony charges filed relating to the Trump rally incidents.

Update: On Thursday night, Nwanguma told WFPL she had filed a report with Louisville Metro Police over the incident. 

Laura Ellis

Laura is the producer of Strange Fruit, WFPL's podcast focusing on race, gender and LGBTQ issues and pop culture. She also produces Curious Louisville, where listeners submit questions and our reporters find out the answers. Laura was born and raised in Louisville and has been with WFPL since 2004. When she's not making radio, she's on stage or in a sound booth making theater, or singing old-fashioned bourbon jazz with Billy Goat Strut Revue.

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