Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo released a statement to the media Friday afternoon with an assessment of his department’s handling of President Donald Trump’s rally at the Target Center.
An estimated “tens of thousands” of supporters and protesters assembled in the streets of downtown Minneapolis in anticipation of the president’s visit. As Arradondo noted in his statement, the protests remained peaceful for most of the evening but turned violent when the roughly 20,000 Trump supporters emptied out of the arena.
A group of Antifa anarchists were reportedly encircling Trump supporters as they left venue, in some cases punching, slapping, and pushing them, as The Sun wrote.
Arradondo said that some protesters were hurling bottles of urine at officers from the Minneapolis Police Department while others were beating police horses with sticks.
“While the vast majority of people that gathered were peaceful and respectful, officers did engage with some individuals and groups demonstrating aggressive or illegal behavior to address issues related to life safety and property damage,” he said. “Officers further engaged when assaulted during their response. Objects containing liquid believed to be urine were hurled at some of my officers along with bottles and rocks. Police horses were also assaulted by protesters striking them with sticks.”
Arradondo defended his officers’ use of “chemical irritants” on aggressive protesters, a practice State Rep. Aisha Gomez (DFL-Minneapolis) objected to in a phone call with Mayor Jacob Frey.
“MPD officers used appropriate levels of force including chemical irritants while responding to, at times, violent and aggressive individuals causing harm to others in attendance,” he said. “In addition, officers practiced admirable restraint and utilized de-escalation skills to defuse tensions by exiting crowds. As with every use of force, there will be an internal review to ensure policy and procedures were followed.”
Protesters Attacked Trump Supporters, Threw Urine Outside Trump Minnesota Rally #LegalInsurrection #AP #WakeUpAmerica #ABC #TrumpTrain #TrumpPence2020 #politics #RT #news #pjnet #tech #GreatAwakening #economy #breaking #BreakingNews #dailynews… https://t.co/oVknB54Att pic.twitter.com/6b6P3iOCCe
— Mary Budesheim 🐻 (@MaryPatriotNews) October 12, 2019
Chief Arradondo said the Minneapolis Police Department was assisted by police agencies from across the metro area.
“Officers worked to ensure people’s First Amendment right to assemble, speak freely and protest. MPD appreciates the community support demonstrated by the law-abiding attendees and their partnership to create a peaceful expression of passionate views,” he added.
The Minneapolis Police Department revealed that it made just one arrest and issued one citation during the rally. The arrest was for property damage and the citation was for disorderly conduct.
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Medaria Arradondo” by Minneapolis Police Department. Background Photo ” Trump Protesters” by Mary Budesheim.