Video: 35 arrested in San Diego streets after Trump rally
According to the San Diego Police Department (SDPD), 35 people were arrested outside of the city's convention center after presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump delivered his campaign message to supporters a mere 15 miles from the Mexican border in San Diego. Over 1,000 protesters gathered outside the convention center had been funneled into what the SDPD labeled "free speech zones" after violent riots erupted at Trump rallies in Albuquerque, N. M. and Costa Mesa, Calif. Reports indicated that protests had remained peaceful in the morning and early afternoon.
After Trump's rally let out around 4 p.m., clashes between his supporters and the protesters led to the SDPD labeling the congregation an "unlawful assembly" at 4:38 p.m., and they quickly proceeded to break up the gathered crowd in cordons of officers adorned in full riot gear.
**Situational Update** Crowd behavior has become unlawful. An unlawful assembly has now been declared. It is illegal to remain in the area
— San Diego Police (@SanDiegoPD) May 27, 2016
The SDPD stated that there had been no property damage, nor reported injuries.
Protesters had arrived in groups throughout the day, including a group led by the Brown Berets who met at a nearby park to prepare protest material, and members of the "Free Hugs Project" who attempted to intercede and break up violent confrontations later in the day.
Supporters argued with protesters on their misconceptions of Donald Trump’s views. Eventually, conversation turned to shoving and spitting as they met face to face outside of the designated demonstration areas. Both sides spewed profanities and racial slurs over barricades of officers holding up their bikes to create a wall soon replaced with a line of riot police.
Some Trump supporters pushed their way into the crowd of protesters and shortly after, dozens of small physical altercations occurred. Isolated incidents turned into larger group efforts as each side began throwing water bottles, trash, and assorted paraphernalia at one another.
Supporters and protesters having words across a barrier of cops pic.twitter.com/yNhT5N8cNP
— September Bottoms (@septemberdawnbo) May 27, 2016
Despite attempts to prevent chaos by neutral parties, several people were either hit in the face with bottles or thrown to the ground. A self-appointed mediator from the Free Hugs Project who had inserted himself in between one melee said,“I try and attend all of [the rallies]. It sucks, I just got pepper sprayed in the face right now, but it doesn’t matter, I’m just trying to keep the peace.”
Once the SDPD decided that the conflict had reached a boiling point, they aggressively pushed against the protesters and reporters with their batons and yelled at them to move back. After several protesters were pepper sprayed, the crowd began to heed the warnings of officials and slowly started to leave the area.
Trump's campaign now shifts its focus to the general election in November. One anti-Trump protester said, “I'm just excited for December to come and everyone to get back to their normal lives.”
This article has been altered from its original version to include video coverage from reporters at the event. You can see moments from the tumultuous scene in the gallery below.