December 2, 2023

By Andy Rose | CNN

Town of San Marcos, Texas, settled a lawsuit this week filed by 4 supporters of Joe Biden who mentioned native police failed to guard them from harassment in 2020 as they rode in a Biden marketing campaign bus.

“The intimidation we skilled on the freeway that day and the risk to our security, merely for participating within the political course of and supporting the candidate of our selecting, ought to by no means occur on this nation,” mentioned former Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis, one of many plaintiffs.

Video footage that Davis offered to CNN confirmed autos with Trump flags surrounding their bus, slicing in entrance of it and abruptly braking because the automobile was touring from San Antonio to Austin on Interstate 35. There have been no prison prices within the incident. Davis and co-plaintiffs Eric Cervini, David Gins and Timothy Holloway alleged that police did not stay as much as their obligations beneath a federal legislation known as the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871.

Beneath the settlement, whose phrases had been shared with CNN by the plaintiffs, San Marcos is required to concern a public apology, pay a complete of $175,000 to the plaintiffs and supply necessary police coaching on how you can correctly reply to voter intimidation.

“Whereas the Metropolis of San Marcos continues to disclaim most of the allegations within the lawsuit, the Metropolis of San Marcos Police Division’s response didn’t mirror the Division’s excessive requirements for conduct and a focus to responsibility,” the town mentioned in a press release to CNN.

Noting that its police division has “dedicated to enhancing its operations,” San Marcos additionally mentioned it “regrets that Mr. Cervini, Ms. Davis, Mr. Gins, and Mr. Holloway had this unlucky expertise.”

The settlement doesn’t have an effect on a separate lawsuit filed by the identical 4 plaintiffs in opposition to eight individuals they allege had been liable for the harassment. Federal court docket data present that case has not been resolved.

“Sadly, this incident is only one instance of a worrying pattern of political violence that’s threatening the freeness and equity of our elections,” mentioned John Paredes, an legal professional with Shield Democracy, one of many teams that offered authorized counsel for the lawsuit. “Within the occasion we see extra of it across the 2024 election, it’s vital that legislation enforcement perceive that they’ve a task to play in stopping political violence, and that they are often held accountable in the event that they fail on this responsibility.”

This story has been up to date with a press release from the town of San Marcos.