(WASHINGTON) — Former President Donald Trump settled a civil lawsuit Wednesday that alleged his security guards violently assaulted protesters outside Trump Tower in 2015.
The case, brought by Efrain Galicia and four other protesters of Mexican origin against Trump and his head of security, Keith Schiller, was in the middle of jury selection in Bronx Supreme Court when the parties came to a confidential agreement.
Video from the September 2015 rally appeared to show Schiller smacking Galicia in the face after he reached for a sign that said “Trump: Make America Racist Again.”
“Defendants were staring down the barrel of a Bronx jury who were about to be presented with overwhelming evidence in support of plaintiffs’ claims,” Ben Dictor, the plaintiffs’ attorney, said in a statement to ABC News. “Nevertheless, plaintiffs are proud to have settled their claims and to have obtained written recognition by Donald Trump of their right to protest on the public sidewalk. Powerful men may put their names on buildings, but the sidewalk will always belong to the people.”
The settlement was announced in a stipulation that said the two sides agreed the matter should be “discontinued in its entirety.” The stipulation did not disclose terms.
“Although we were eager to proceed to trial to demonstrate the frivolousness of this case, the parties were ultimately able to come to an amicable resolution. We are very pleased with this outcome and are happy to finally put this matter to rest once and for all,” Trump’s attorney, Alina Habba, said.
A joint statement from Trump, signed by Habba on his behalf, and the plaintiffs, said, “The parties all agree that the plaintiffs in the action, and all people, have a right to engage in peaceful protest on public sidewalks.”
Trump said Schiller “did nothing wrong” and called the protesters “troublemakers” during a deposition in October 2021.
“I think they were troublemakers, yes I do. I think they were,” Trump said, according to a transcript.
The protesters said they were lawfully on the public sidewalk outside Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan when they were “attacked and their property destroyed.” Their lawsuit also alleged infringement on their free speech rights.
Two of the protesters wore Ku Klux Klan outfits to call attention to David Duke’s endorsement of Trump’s immigration policies during the campaign.
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