Fight breaks out involving GOP challenger at Rep Ayanna Pressley event with fellow ‘Squad’ members

 (MassGOP press)
(MassGOP press)
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Police arrested two people outside of an event in Somerville, Massachusetts, for Democratic Representative Ayanna Pressley and other members of the Squad, after a brawl involving Ms Pressley’s Republican opponent took place.

A spokesperson for the city of Somerville told that police responded to reports of a fight that had broken out at the Somerville Theater on Saturday. The event featured Ms Pressley, along with her fellow Squad members Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Cori Bush of Missouri.

Republican Donnie Palmer, who is running against Ms Pressley, had organised a protest in honour of 18-year-old Cayler Ellingson of North Dakota. Shannon Brandt, a 41-year-old man, ran over Mr Ellingson with an SUV after thinking Mr Ellingson was part of a “Republican extremist” group. But Fox News reported that no evidence proves Mr Ellingson was part of such a group and the event likely did not involve politics.

Former president Donald Trump denounced the killing at a rally in Wilmington, North Carolina on Friday.

City spokeswoman Grace Munns said when police arrived at the Massachusetts event, witnesses said a verbal dispute was taking place between two men who were part of the protest led by Mr Palmer versus four other men, which escalated into a fistfight.

Police then arrested Foster Starkes of Cambridge and Andwain Coleman, who lives in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, and charged both with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Both men will be arraigned in Somerville District Court.

Ms Munns said at least one of the two men involved was hospitalised and Somerville police are still investigating the dispute.

Mr Palmer said the fight began because the four men, whom he accused of being sent by Ms Pressley’s staff, attacked someone who was part of his protest.

“Violence is never the answer, but it seems to be the first resort for radical progressives whenever they seek to silence Black Republicans,” Mr Palmer said in a statement from the Massachusetts Republican Party on Sunday to the Boston Globe. He blamed “radical progressives” who wanted to attack Black Republicans who “dare to ‘step out of line’ and question their far-left agenda.”

But Ms Pressley disputes this.

“During the community celebration on Saturday in Somerville, event security was made aware of an altercation that took place in the Davis Square area,” she said in a statement. “This altercation did not involve event security or anyone associated with the community celebration, and was handled by the Somerville Police Department.”