As supporters of then-President Donald Trump surrounded and harassed a Joe Biden campaign bus on a Central Texas highway last year, San Marcos police officials and 911 dispatchers fielded multiple requests for assistance from Democratic campaigners and bus passengers who said they feared for their safety from a pack of motorists, known as a “Trump Train,” allegedly driving in dangerously aggressive ways.
“San Marcos refused to help,” an amended federal lawsuit over the 2020 freeway skirmish claims.
Transcribed 911 audio recordings and documents that reveal behind-the-scenes communications among law enforcement and dispatchers were included in the amended lawsuit, filed late Friday.
The transcribed recordings were filed in an attempt to show that San Marcos law enforcement leaders chose not to provide the bus with a police escort multiple times, even though police departments in other nearby cities did. In one transcribed recording, Matthew Daenzer, a San Marcos police corporal on duty the day of the incident, refused to provide an escort when recommended by another jurisdiction.
“No, we’re not going to do it,” Daenzer told a 911 dispatcher, according to the amended filing. “We will ‘close patrol’ that, but we’re not going to escort a bus.”
The amended filing also states that in those audio recordings, law enforcement officers “privately laughed” and “joked about the victims and their distress.”
Former state Sen. Wendy Davis, who was running for Congress at the time, is among the four plaintiffs in the lawsuit. The new complaint also expands the number of people and entities being sued to include Daenzer, San Marcos assistant police chief Brandon Winkenwerder and the city itself. A spokesperson for the city did not immediately respond to a request for comment late Friday. Daenzer and Winkenwerder could not immediately be reached.
And without the police escort, the bus was attacked and nearly forced off the highway. I don't expect Texas courts to do much of anything, but remember, if 911 dispatchers and police can openly refuse to serve you because of your political affiliation, you live in an authoritarian state.