WASHINGTON (AP) â Sen. Rand Paul, who was surrounded by screaming protesters when he and his wife left President Donald Trumpâs Republican National Convention speech at the White House, claimed without evidence on Friday that he had been âattacked by an angry mobâ of the type that would be unleashed in Joe Bidenâs America.
A video of the encounter with the protesters, who were yelling for Paul to say Breonna Taylorâs name, shows no attack on Paul, only a police officer who was jostled while carrying a bicycle and then stumbled into the Kentucky senatorâs shoulder.
Police and other security personnel formed a cordon around Paul and his wife as they left the White House shortly after midnight to walk a few blocks to their hotel, and the couple didnât appear to come into physical contact with the protesters and were unharmed.
Still, Paul tweeted that he âJust got attacked by an angry mob of over 100, one block away from the White House,â and he thanked police for âliterally saving our lives from a crazed mob.â
A large image of the incident labeled âSomethingâs Going Onâ occupied the top of the Fox News website for at least two hours through midday Friday.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has said that he does not want to defund police departments and that itâs Trump who has proposed cutting local police support. Biden said he favors increasing funding for local police forces and deploying more social workers to complement police work.
In a Fox News television appearance on Friday, Paul linked the encounter with the protesters to lawlessness and a movement to defund police departments and said nobody would be safe in America if Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, wins the White House.
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âWe canât have Joe Biden rule the country and have no police,â Paul told the hosts of the morning show âFox & Friends.â
Biden has said that he does not want to defund police departments and that itâs Trump who has proposed cutting local police support. Biden said he favors increasing funding for local police forces and deploying more social workers to complement police work.
Paul alleged, without offering any evidence, that the demonstrators were paid to create trouble on the streets of the nationâs capital.
âI think weâre going to find out that these people are hired and from out of town, specifically in our case,â Paul claimed.
The protesters were shouting for the Kentucky senator to acknowledge Taylor, who was shot and killed by police officers who used a battering ram to knock down the door of her Louisville apartment. Protesters on Friday shouted âNo Justice, No Peaceâ and âSay Her Nameâ before one appeared to briefly clash with an officer, pushing him and his bike backward, sending the officer into Paulâs shoulder.
Taylorâs name has been a rallying cry among demonstrators during recent protests against racial injustice and police brutality. The 26-year-old emergency medical technician was shot multiple times March 13, when police officers burst into her apartment using a no-knock warrant during a narcotics investigation.
The warrant to search her home was in connection with a suspect who did not live there, and no drugs were found.
Paul said he has written a law to end no-knock raids. âSo,â he said, âthe irony is lost on these idiots.â
Videos showed other attendees of Trumpâs RNC speech being verbally confronted by protesters after leaving the event.
âI promise you that at least some of the members and the people who attacked us were not from D.C.,â he said. âThey flew here on a plane. Theyâve all got fresh new clothes, and they were paid to be here. Itâs a crime to do that, and it needs to be traced. The FBI needs to investigate.â
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