The fliers passed out by a New York state senator spoke of uniting Democrats and resisting President Trump — a common strategy used to solidify the “blue” voting base before the midterm elections in November. But that message proved to be too much for a self-identified Trump supporter who on Thursday called the police to make him leave, according to the lawmaker’s account.
Jesse Hamilton told The Washington Post that he and his aides stood in front a Brooklyn subway stop to pass out fliers to constituents while they traveled to work.
“Rising up Democrats!” the flier said, above a picture of Hamilton and two of his supporters.
Everything was going well . . . at least for three minutes. After Hamilton passed a flier to a white woman, who could not be identified by The Washington Post, she began to speak of divisiveness, work ethic and Trump.
“Some immigrants don’t have a good work ethic,” the woman said in a Slavic accent, according to Hamilton’s retelling. After 10 minutes of conversation, Hamilton offered to meet with her at his office at a later date. She was taking his time away from other constituents, he said. The woman, who told Hamilton she came to the United States to flee communism, refused. That’s when one of Hamilton’s aides pulled out his phone and started recording.
“I support Trump,” the woman said. “And I see the difference between Democrat and Republican. And I see the difference between you and Trump.
“If you really want the nation to be as one and fight for the better life . . . you would not have put this here,” she said, pointing to a slogan that said “Fighting back Trump.” The woman praised Trump for improving her finances and making the nation better, Hamilton said.
Hamilton told The Post that after a while, the woman requested that he and his aides leave. They refused to leave the public sidewalk. But the refusal angered her, so she called the police, Hamilton said.
The police soon arrived, Hamilton said. But the woman would not let up. She demanded that police remove the lawmaker and his aides from the sidewalk. They told her that could not happen and left.
She still wouldn’t stop, Hamilton said. He said he voluntarily removed himself from the situation. After leaving for a few minutes, he returned to continue speaking to prospective voters. But the woman soon reappeared and began to follow him down the street, he said.
“I shouldn’t have felt uncomfortable,” Hamilton told The Post. “I’m minding my business and handing out political literature.
“This is just [another] person of color going through their normal lives and a citizen is calling the police to interrogate and intimidate,” said Hamilton, who is black. “It’s a disturbing trend of people calling 911 for situations that have no criminal activity.”