FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Police in Fort Worth are trying to clarify an incident near a polling location on October 30, after video posts on social media claimed officers gave an escort to a pro-Trump caravan attempting to intimidate voters in a predominantly Black area of the city.
A video posted on Twitter — that has more than 3 million views — shows several people driving on Richardson Street in the Stop Six area with large Trump flags and signs attached to their vehicles.
FWPD and Tarrant County Sheriff’s had squad cars around at least one of the vehicles — and had police horns blaring — when a crowd went out into the street and blocked the path of a man driving a pickup.
The crowd on foot loudly complained about the Trump supporters being “disrespectful,” yelled obscenities, and refused to let the driver, who yelled back and flipped his middle finger at the crowd, proceed. The crowd began chanting “turn around” and after a short time that is what the driver did.
Members of the pro-Trump group said they were exercising their right to peacefully assemble. Residents in the area and those trying to cast ballots said their actions was a form of voter intimidation.
On November 2, the Monday after the incident, Fort Worth police released a statement that said —
“On Oct. 30, 2020, Fort Worth police officers were asked to be present near various polling sites due to complaints of possible voter intimidation. A caravan of vehicles approached a polling site near Miller Street and was surrounded by a large crowd on foot. In an effort to de-escalate the situation, officers entered the crowd to allow the surrounded vehicles to exit the area without any further altercations. At no time were Fort Worth police officers escorting vehicles into any areas to allow any type of voter intimidation. Our goal is to keep everyone safe, including from fear and intimidation, while exercising their First Amendment rights.”