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Woman claims to have been physically assaulted during Sunday's rally in Tyler

"It felt set up. It felt like the hatred was there. It felt organized," Nancy Nichols said.

TYLER, Texas — A woman says she was punched in the chest during a rally in downtown Tyler Sunday. 

Nancy Nichols says she attended the rally to help people register to vote. It's something she's been doing at many protests and rallies in Tyler. 

"It's letting people know that they have choices and that the election process is not a waste of their time or their energy, and everyone has the right to be heard," Nichols said.

The event was organized by the Hank Gilbert Congressional Campaign and counter protesters took over the Square. Nichols says that's when things took a turn.

"People were standing on the audio cables, they were asked to move, to step aside and their response was they could stand anywhere they wanted to," she said. "This group was pushing people against that memorial wall and it was tottering. There were attendees standing on the other side of that wall. Had that wall fallen backwards, then there would have been a lot more injuries."

Nichols has lived in Tyler for decades and says she's used to sharing a community with people who have different perspectives. However, she's not used to violence when there are disagreements about those differences.

After months of protesters letting their voices be heard, Nichols says it's time for local government officials to speak up and do the same.

"Tyler does not feel like a safe place at all right now," she said. "And the reason is not so much because of this incident that happened, but because of the responses afterwards." 

Nichols says she has pressed charges.

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