According to KETK, East Texas rancher Hank Gilbert, who is the Democratic challenger for Gohmert’s seat in November, organized one of the rallies, in his words to, “stand up against this unconstitutional occupation of American cities.”
Simultaneously, a larger group of Trump supporters, some armed, showed up on the square and overwhelmed Gilbert’s event.
As the protests devolved, a KETK camera crew witnessed a brawl between several people.
Hank Gilbert identified one of the men as his campaign manager, Ryan Miller. He claimed the individuals who started the fight were Gohmert supporters and called on him “immediately denounce the violence that his supporters wrought today on peaceful protesters.”
Tyler Police were on the scene to defuse the situation.
Gilbert’s Facebook page had the following statement. “My campaign manager, Ryan Miller, was assaulted, beaten, and had his iPhone stolen at our protest on the square in Tyler today by Blue Lives Matter protestors. Dozens and dozens of people who came to our protest were scared away by these thugs with guns and let our campaign know in phone calls and texts.
These thugs had every intention of starting a violent altercation from the minute we set foot on the square. They were chanting, “Louie! Louie! Louie! While my campaign manager was being beaten.
I call on Louie Gohmert to immediately denounce the violence that his supporters wrought today on peaceful protesters.”