Donald Trump’s campaign has started using plainclothes private intelligence officers to identify and forcibly remove protesters from the GOP candidate’s often rowdy rallies, according to a Tuesday Politico report.
Politico reported that several members of Trump’s private security detail dressed in street clothes for a Friday rally in New Orleans. One of those security officers, Eddie Deck, told reporters that he was tasked with intelligence work researching potential protesters.
The article also charges that Trump’s plainclothes security guards helped escort Black Lives Matter demonstrators from the rally in New Orleans.
Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks did not respond to Politico’s request for comment.
Protesters affiliated with Black Lives Matter and pro-immigrant groups are a fixture at Trump’s packed campaign events, and security is tight as a result. In addition to his private security team, Trump has had a Secret Service detail accompany him on the campaign trail since November.
Last week, a Secret Service agent slammed a Time magazine photographer to the ground after he stepped outside the press pen to take pictures of a group of protesters being removed from a Virginia rally. Local police say the Trump campaign asked them to remove a group of black students from a Friday event at Georgia’s Valdosta State University, too.