The mainstream media isn't known for its objectivity in reporting on any subject, let alone what really goes on at Donald Trump rallies, which is why Tucson Police Officer Brandon Tatum decided to attend the GOP frontrunner's event in his hometown Saturday.
According to Tatum, who posted a video online detailing his experience, he went to the Trump rally with an open mind, but expecting to see more of the alleged racism and provocation from Trump and his supporters that is so often reported by media. What he found was a very different scenario.
Tatum said that from the moment he arrived at the entry-point of the rally, he and others were swarmed by Trump protesters "acting like fools" and hurling expletives, even in front of children. He said the protesters were "outlandish and out of control."
"As a police officer, I have been through dramatic situations ... [and even] I felt very uncomfortable," he said.
Tatum says he felt that, at any moment, he could be attacked by an anti-Trump protester and needed to watch his back at all times. The protesters are "the most hateful evil people I have ever seen," he added definitively.
"I could not believe it."
Tatum noted the bias in reporting on Trump rallies, as he claims that before Donald Trump even came on stage an official announcement was made to supporters instructing them specifically to not engage protesters in any way and to let law enforcement deal with disrupters. Tatum said the media has left that part out entirely.
What's more, this particular Trump rally was actually a private, paid-for event -- not open to the public -- thus giving the Trump campaign every right to remove, at any time, agitators from the premises without violating their Constitutional rights.
Tatum noted that, far from the bigoted rhetoric he'd expected to hear, Trump "did not say anything hateful or prejudiced," nor did his supporters. He said that Trump did not say anything hateful about Muslims, but did address radical Islam, immigration and border security.
"He wasn't a crazy psychopath and I was expecting him to be radical [based on how he is portrayed]," Tatum said.
Tatum said he expected Trump supporters to be aggressive toward protesters, but that he only saw two incidents unfold. The first was the "beat down" one attendee gave to a protester and the other was when an attendee balled up a protester's homemade flag laden with racist expletives and threw it over a balcony. In both incidents, the police officer noted that there was much provocation on the part of the protesters.
"They [protesters] were [yelling] in people's faces. It was crazy." He said that protesters screamed during at least 60 percent of Trumps speech, but that Trump and his supporters really did remain restrained -- far different from the perception he'd initially had of the GOP candidate and his followers and far different from the picture painted by mainstream media.
"I am an African American man. I had no problems with any [Trump supporter]," Tatum said before adding that many of the protesters were African Americans and were "acting a fool."
He said that protesters were completely unhinged, "grabbing people's legs" and "acting crazy."
Tatum believes these agitators could have caused a "full fledged riot" to break out at any moment and that, even as a police officer, he too felt unsafe at times. The police officer said he completely saw how he might need to punch a protester in self-defense.
Ultimately, Tatum said that he gained much respect for Trump and his supporters and was appalled at the way protesters were acting. "If you want to know the truth," he says, you have to "physically show up" and see for yourself.
The police officer also expressed his wish that media show images of the verbal assault Trump protesters leveled against supporters, even in front of small children whose "ears had to be covered" by parents. He says he also wishes media would show a clip of the announcement made by the campaign to Trump supporters asking them specifically to "not get involved" with the protesters.
"They [the protesters] were blocking [Trump's] freedom of speech and assembly," Tatum concluded. "This was eye opening. I did not expect the protesters to be that crazy."