Lafayette to determine whether Trump flags on overpass must come down

A danger to public safety? Or a First Amendment exercise?

That's the issue city leaders in Lafayette will discuss on Monday night when it comes to a protest on a busy overpass. 

On the El Curtola Boulevard and Highway 24 overpass, supporters of former President Donald Trump hold demonstrations twice a week.

City leaders say the banners, signs and flags hovering over traffic are distracting for drivers and can be a public safety issue. 

The mayor mentioned an instance where a counter-protestor approached the group and threw a flagpole over the fence and into traffic.

Protesters, however, say it's their First Amendment right to be there. 

"This particular location is effective for getting our message out," said Matthew Tarantino of the Contra Costa County Patriots. 

City leaders will ask the California Highway Patrol and Department of Transportation to intervene and enforce any rules they can to remove the group.

According to emails between Caltrans and Lafayette, it's against highway regulations to attach signs to the chain-link fence.

CHP Contra Costa told KTVU the jurisdiction of this location falls upon Lafayette Police Department to respond to and investigate "any illegal activity" since it's within Lafayette's city limits. 

"The CHP takes an active role in insuring traffic safety on the freeway by patrolling and monitoring the flow of traffic," CHP said in their statement. "When notified of a protest, the CHP actively monitors highways within CHP jurisdiction for any impact on the safe and efficient flow of traffic."