PHOENIX — Police officers in riot gear used tear gas and flashbangs to break up protests outside President Donald Trump’s rally in Phoenix, Arizona.
The event started peacefully but as thousands filled the streets following the rally things started getting out of hand.
Police began deploying pepper balls and tear gas into the crowd, reportedly because people were throwing rocks and bottles at police.
Police Chief Jeri Williams said that’s what an employee told her what happened. Williams said it happened near the Herber Theatre along Monroe Street.
Things escalated as a few minutes of panic followed. Just after 9 p.m. and then again around 9:15, more “flash bags” went too, and more tear gas was sprayed.
In the end, four people were arrested and two officers were treated for heat exhaustion.
Of the four arrested, two face charges of aggravated assault, one faces criminal damage charges and the other was arrested on an unrelated warrant. The two officers are expected to be okay.
During the rally inside the city’s convention center, the President spent the majority of his time claiming the media is responsible for dividing the nation in the aftermath of violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, insisting it twisted his words.
“It’s time to expose the crooked media deceptions.”
Among the several other subjects the President touched upon, the need to reform immigration. He also again insisted a wall on the Mexican border will be built.
“Believe me if we have to close down the government we’re building that wall.”
President Trump also committed to passing the biggest tax cut in American history, and alluded to a pardon for controversial former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted last month of ignoring a federal judge’s order to stop detaining people because he suspected them of being undocumented immigrants.