As President Trump hosted a rally in Phoenix, Arizona, Tuesday night, both supporters and protesters came out in large numbers. The anti-Trump protesters became so unruly and violent in some cases, police had to use pepper spray to get them under control.
Despite the numerous instances of violence, Reuters reported on Twitter that Trump supporters “faced off with peace activists”:Screenshot
While there were many peaceful protesters, there were lots of others who tried to hurt either police officers or Trump supporters.
In a statement, Sgt. Jonathan Howard, of the Phoenix Police Department explained to CNN that officers had to use anti-riot measures because the crowd was beginning to attack police: “People in the crowd began fighting and throwing rocks and bottles at police. They also dispersed some gas in the area. Police have responded with pepper balls and oc (pepper) spray in an attempt to disperse the crowd and stop the assaults.”
Video from Tuesday night also showed anti-Trump protesters attacking rally goers:
Protesters also threw tear gas canisters back at police:
NEW VIDEO: This appears to show demonstrators throw canisters at police pic.twitter.com/wwvRHDLZyS
— azcentral (@azcentral) August 23, 2017
Earlier in the night, protesters also beat on a police van:
Protestors beating on police van–arrested protestors inside pic.twitter.com/wTXHtRkWHT
— Susanna Black (@SusannaWSOC9) August 23, 2017
One protester also learned the hard way to not hit canisters back at police. After kicking a can and standing in defiance of police, he was hit right in the nuts with a pepper spray ball. The protester dropped immediately to the ground in pain. He was then helped up by a guy wearing a Colin Kaepernick jersey.
[UPDATE 08/23/17: 04:10 P.M. ET]
After being publicly criticized for the incorrectly calling the protesters “peace activists”, Reuters recognized the mistake and relabled the caption:
CORRECTION: We have changed the caption of this photo, which inaccurately characterized the anti-Trump protesters as 'peace activists' https://t.co/vWgZZRvYb3