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Lawsuit Claims Free Speech Violations After San Diego Trump Rally

San Diego police officers push back protesters outside a Donald Trump campaig...

Photo by Matthew Bowler

Above: San Diego police officers push back protesters outside a Donald Trump campaign rally at the Convention Center, May 27, 2016.

A federal lawsuit filed on Thursday claims the San Diego Police and Sheriff's Departments violated free speech rights in their response to protests outside a Donald Trump campaign rally last year.

Candidate Trump gave a speech at the San Diego Convention Center on May 27, 2016. Hundreds of people showed up outside to protest, and police made some arrests as scuffles broke out in the crowds.

After the speech was over, police declared an unlawful assembly and ordered everyone outside the Convention Center to disperse. Attorney Bryan Pease, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of 10 people at the protest, said the police were targeting people who were demonstrating peacefully and had committed no crime.

A federal lawsuit filed on Thursday claims the San Diego Police and Sheriff's Departments violated free speech rights in their response to protests outside a Donald Trump campaign rally last year.

"They were just arresting anybody that was in their path who was not moving quickly enough, and that's a violation of the First Amendment," he said.

Pease said the lawsuit would be served on Friday. A spokesman for the San Diego City Attorney's Office said the office would review the complaint and consult with city officials.

Trump's San Diego speech made headlines because of his comments criticizing Gonzalo Curiel, the San Diego-based judge who was presiding over a fraud lawsuit against the now defunct Trump University. Trump later said Curiel was treating him unfairly because of the judge's Mexican heritage.

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