At least a dozen arrested after fights erupt at San Diego Trump rally

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — 9:45 p.m. — San Diego police share on Twitter that 35 people were arrested Friday during the Trump rally.

"**Final Update** 35 arrests were made today during the protest. No property damage was reported. No injuries were reported."

9:15 p.m. — At least a dozen protesters were arrested in San Diego Friday afternoon as crowds gathered outside the Convention Center for the Donald Trump rally.

The crowds were peaceful at the start of the afternoon as they gathered around the Convention Center. There was a heavy police presence, but they spent the early afternoon just directing traffic.

The city designated demonstration zones — one for Trump supporters and another for those who oppose the 69-year-old billionaire’s presidential bid — on the northwest and southeast sides of the Harbor Drive center and monitored attendees’ behavior while ensuring their constitutional free-speech rights, Zimmerman said.

While supporters entered the Convention Center, the crowd of protesters quickly grew, especially after a group marched in from Barrio Logan carrying the Mexican flag and chanting, "F**k police, f**k Trump."

Everything remained peaceful until crowds started leaving the Convention Center. Several small scuffles began, which quickly grew into larger fights.

"The situation rapidly changed from predominantly peaceful protests that we had been seeing all day long, to acts of violence between opposing protesters, which included fights, objects being thrown into the crowd and the crowd pushing and shoving each other,” San Diego Police Department Chief Shelley Zimmerman said.

"To keep the peace and to prevent further acts of violence — just like we said that we were going to do all day — we took very quick and decisive action and we issued an unlawful assembly order,” Zimmerman said. "We did this to control the crowd, secure the area and also to maintain the safety of all of our public.”

Several people were arrested, but that number was expected to grow as the night continued. There were no reports of property damage, but a few protesters were slightly injured by pepper ball spray.

Police in riot gear maintained a huge presence as the crowd moved into the Gaslamp Quarter.

Hundreds of officers, deputies and agents from more than 18 local, state and federal agencies were part of the public safety plan headed up by the San Diego Police Department.

Zimmerman said the thousands of people in the crowd were mostly peaceful and it was only a handful of protesters that sparked the violence.

"I couldn’t be more proud of everybody today, all law enforcement and public safety personnel who went out there and really showed just tremendous, tremendous patience and professionalism what they did today,” she said.

Categories: Local San Diego News