Police and Protesters Clash Outside Trump Rally in New Mexico

By Steven Klett, Epoch Times
May 25, 2016 10:46 am Last Updated: May 25, 2016 10:57 am

A protest outside Donald Trump’s rally in Albuquerque, New Mexico, turned violent as protesters threw burning T-shirts, plastic bottles and other items at police officers, injuring several, and toppling trash cans and barricades.

Police responded by throwing smoke grenades and firing pepper spray into the crowd outside the Albuquerque Convention Center.

The protesters waved Mexican flags, shouted obscenities, and broke windows at the entrance of the convention center.

Inside the rally, protesters were removed by security and simultaneously mocked by Trump, who told them to “go home to mommy” as they interrupted his speech.

Pepper spray is deployed at protesters of Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump at the Albuquerque Convention Center after the Trump rally in Albuquerque, N.M., Tuesday, May 24, 2016. (Roberto E. Rosales/The Albuquerque Journal via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
Pepper spray is deployed at protesters of Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump at the Albuquerque Convention Center after the Trump rally in Albuquerque, N.M., on May 24, 2016. (Roberto E. Rosales/The Albuquerque Journal via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

He responded to one demonstrator by asking, “How old is this kid?” Then he provided his own answer: “Still wearing diapers.”

At one point, a female protester was physically dragged from the stands by security. Other protesters scuffled with security as they resisted removal from the convention center, which was packed with thousands of loud and cheering Trump supporters.

Initial reports indicated that a gunshot or shots had been heard, but Albuquerque police tweeted there was “no confirmation that any gunshots were fired.” The tweet said the sound may have been that of a pellet gun.

The police also tweeted that they had not used tear gas, clarifying that it was “just smoke.”

Albuquerque attorney Doug Antoon said rocks were flying through the convention center windows as he was leaving Tuesday night. Glass was breaking and landing near his feet.

“This was not a protest, this was a riot. These are hate groups,” he said of the demonstrators.

Earlier in the primary season, protesters in Costa Mesa, California resulted in about 20 arrests and video showed protesters breaking a cop cruiser’s windows, jumping on the top of the car, and at one point, trying to flip the vehicle. 

More protests are expected as Trump travels to Anaheim, California only hours following the rally in New Mexico

The Associated Press contributed to this report.