NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas – The Mayor of New Braunfels, Rusty Brockman, has released a statement following an incident where a Black Lives Matter flag was dragged under a pickup truck during a parade supporting President Trump’s reelection.
The parade, organized by a group called Trump Train NB, took place over the weekend and was intended to be in “support of our current president, his policies and his administration,” according to Trump Train NB founder Steve Ceh.
Ceh told KSAT the person who dragged the flag is not a part of the Trump Train NB group and said “that kind of behavior will not be tolerated.”
Brockman’s lengthy statement acknowledges that the city of New Braunfels “has experienced divisiveness," and goes on to say that “some members of our community have felt attacked, demoralized, misunderstood, and concerned. This is not the New Braunfels that I know and love. Our community is known for its caring and supportive personality.”
“A group of residents have been holding a weekly event which organizers describe as a patriotic demonstration to spread the positive message about the current President,” said Brockman. “This event has grown significantly in recent weeks and attracted increased attention. Some images and social media posts associated with that demonstration have caused angst and uneasiness in our community.”
Brockman said Trump Train NB organizers made it clear to him that the person or people responsible for dragging the flag are not associated with the organization and that “anyone who joins the organization with the purpose of spreading a message of hate is not welcome.”
The mayor noted that “while all individuals and groups have the right to freedom of speech and to peaceably assemble, in New Braunfels, we expect that it is done in a lawful, safe, peaceful, and respectful manner.”
Brockman said he does not condone any activity, symbolism, speech, or imagery with overt or implied racism or hatred.
“We take these matters very seriously and will not turn a blind eye to issues that make our residents feel threatened or afraid,” Brockman said.
Organizers of Trump Train NB, city officials, members of the MLK Jr. Association, several non-profit organizations and other community leaders have met with Brockman recently “to ensure [the] community continues to be inclusive, supportive and collaborative,” the statement reads.
Officers with the New Braunfels Police Department have been present for demonstrations and protests in the city and will continue to provide a presence at events like Trump Train NB to help ensure the safety of participants, onlookers and bystanders, the mayor said.
“It has been my honor to work with citizens who are deeply committed to doing the right things to make New Braunfels a better place. We live here because this is the kind of community that we all want to live and raise our families in,” Brockman said.