Police and Protesters Clash Outside Trump Rally in New Mexico
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.
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.
There is no confirmation that any gunshots were fired, contrary to reports. Possible damage to Convention Center Windows by pellet gun
— Albuquerque Police (@ABQPOLICE) May 25, 2016
The police also tweeted that they had not used tear gas, clarifying that it was “just smoke.”
ONGOING: Albuquerque police deploy smoke grenades after protesters threw rocks at police: pic.twitter.com/gsRXLl0psU
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) May 25, 2016
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.