Donald Trump denies kicking 30 Black students out of rally

Photo credit: 'USA Today' screenshot
Photo credit: ‘USA Today’ screenshot

Donald Trump’s Monday evening rally at Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Georgia did not begin until 30 Black students were kicked out of the event. But the answer to the question of who ordered the removal of the students isn’t so clear.

The students, many of whom were wearing all black, were reportedly standing on the bleachers in the back row silently when officers approached them and escorted them out of the building. USA Today spoke with a couple of the protesters, who claimed they were not there to disrupt Trump’s speech.

“We didn’t plan to do anything,” 19-year-old student-protester Tahjila Davis said as she wiped away tears. “They said, ‘This is Trump’s property; it’s a private event.’ But I paid my tuition to be here.”

Another student-protester, Brooke Gladney, said that the only reason the group was given for why they were being escorted out was that “Mr. Trump didn’t want us there.”

A Trump spokesperson told USA Today that the students’ removal was not at the request of the candidate or the campaign. But a Secret Service spokesman said that those who removed the protesters were Trump staffers and local law enforcement who were in charge of handling hecklers.

On Tuesday, Valdosta Police Chief Brian Childress said he spoke to the Trump staff and officers who were dealing with the students to ask why they had been put out.

“These folks were told to leave the PE complex by the Trump detail,” Childress said.

The police chief said that he supported the removal of the students and that it was not a racial situation.

“What I resent is now some of these folks are going around saying it was a Black issue. That’s total nonsense,” he said. “I personally asked why were these folks told to leave and the reason was: they were being disruptive. The Trump staff said they were using profanity. The F-bomb is one word that was used. You can’t be in there using profanity. That violates Georgia law.”

At least one of the students escorted out of the Trump rally was White.

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