In an interview on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” the Colorado Republican said that while officials went to Denver’s Civic Center Park knowing there could be a threat, they had some volunteers accompanying them from a local gun shop in his district.
“And, we were essentially surrounded by Antifa. I mean, we’re talking outnumbered four to one. We were actually lower in elevation than them [in] the way the facility worked out. And, we were completely surrounded,” he said.
All of a sudden, the groups violently clashed.
“And then, before I knew it, we were on stage while behind us one of my friends was beaten down by four to five Antifa members. The folks that we had there volunteering had to kick those folks off of him. And then, eventually, we had to actually evacuate,” said Neville. “And, had it not been, quite frankly, for someone who I’d met moments before ushering us into her car, I don’t know if we would have gotten out of there unscathed.”
However, before Neville, conservative columnist Michelle Malkin, and other members of their group could flee, they had things thrown at them, were pushed around and spit on.
“Michelle Malkin lost one of her shoes. My friend was severely beaten; [he] had a black eye after it was done. We didn’t have a single chance to speak. I mean, the band barely even started playing,” he said. “And, all this occurred right on the stage of the facility where we were supposed to be having our rally. It wasn’t like it was a minor scuffle on the outskirts of the rally. It was right there on the stage.”
Anti-police protesters, left, clash with a Pro-Police Rally supporter when dueling rallies collided at Civic Center Park on July 19, 2020, in Denver, Colo. Photo by Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
While the police would normally have stepped in to deescalate the confrontation, Denver Police Protective Association (DPPA) President Nick Rogers told the “Peter Boyles Show” on 710 KNUS that a “stand-down order” given by the incident commander prohibited further action.
However, Rogers said that one lieutenant refused to follow that order and kept his officers at the rally.
“I mean, I’m the House Republican leader in Colorado. The House minority leader. And so, if it can happen to me and they can prevent me from speaking, they can really do this to anyone,” Neville told host Tucker Carlson. ” And so, it’s really concerning because I think the order probably came up to stand down. We had the police union chief out there actually saying there was a stand-down order.”
“And, we were just totally attacked by thugs committing total violence to try to silence our speech,” he said.
Neville is calling for an investigation into the weekend’s events, but also says it’s time for a “stand-your-ground law in each state.”
“The police weren’t there to protect us. Had it not been for the volunteers that I had from the local gun shop and then another state representative who was a former police officer, I don’t know if we would have gotten out of there unscathed and we were the lucky ones,” he said.
“I’m a combat vet. I was a captain in the Army and this is by far the most dangerous situation I have been in since I’ve been in combat,” Neville concluded.
Fox News’ Bradford Betz and Danielle Wallace contributed to this report.
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