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150 Cops Hit By Rocks at Trump Rally Riot

150 Cops Hit By Rocks at Trump Rally Riot

The disturbance will cost taxpayers at least $60,000 in overtime for public safety personnel and damage to the convention center, APD spokeswoman Celina Espinoza said.

Riot Cost $60,000 in OT and Damages

BY DENNIS DOMRZALSKI

At least 150 Albuquerque police officers were hit by rocks and other debris, and six suffered injuries that had to be treated at Tuesday night’s riot at Donald Trump’s rally at the Albuquerque Convention Center, the Albuquerque Police Department  said Wednesday.

And the disturbance will cost taxpayers at least $60,000 in overtime for public safety personnel and damage to the convention center, APD spokeswoman Celina Espinoza said.

APD deployed around 200 officers and nearly every one was hit by something thrown by protestors, Espinoza said.

Eight windows and one glass door in the East Convention Center were broken and will cost $10,000 to repair, Espinoza said.

Around 200 APD officers were assigned to the rally and the vast majority of them were on overtime, and that OT will cost taxpayers at least $50,000, Espinoza said, while adding that the exact OT costs are still being calculated.

Six APD officers who were hit by fist-sized rocks suffered injuries to their faces, noses, arms and legs, Espinoza said. All were treated on the scene and did not require hospitalization. Included in those six was an APD sergeant who was treated for smoke inhalation. A Bernalillo County Sheriff’s deputy was also injured, Espinoza said.

Albuquerque police arrested four people at Tuesday night’s protest, including two juveniles inside the rally who were cited and released to their parents.

One adult, Tylina Hardy, 30, was arrested from inside the rally and charged with disorderly conduct, while 19-yearold Jose Cuevas was arrested outside the rally and charged with disorderly conduct.

About a dozen other people were detained and escorted out of the area near the convention center, Espinoza said. She added that all of APD’s horses, and their riders who were trying to control the crowd outside the rally were OK.

The protest started around 4 p.m. and were mostly peaceful, but some people attending Trump’s rally were spit on and screamed at as they entered the convention center’s east wing. Between 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. the began to turn violent when some protesters began to pull at metal police barricades, a witness said. Police pulled back at the barricades, and then some protesters tried rushing the convention center’s doors. Police fired smoke canisters into the crowd to disperse the protesters. Other protesters began lighting t-shirts on fire and some began throwing rocks at police, the witness said.

APD Tweeted at 8:58 p.m. Tuesday, “Appears that most of the @RealDonaldTrump protesters have left & remaining contingent is only looking to cause trouble and be destructive.”

Photo courtesy of Burque Media Productions

Photo courtesy of Burque Media Productions

Albuquerque City Council President Dan Lewis attended the rally and blamed the violence on some of the groups that called for the protests—ProgressNow New Mexico and the SouthWest Organizing Project. Lewis said he left the convention center after Trump’s speech to help an elderly woman with a walker to her car about two blocks away near Central Avenue.

“We had [plastic water] bottles thrown at us, and one hit her car,” Lewis said. “I saw fights breaking out and I saw fires and I made statements that clearly there were people there to riot and to incite violence. I also believe that the advocacy groups have to share the blame because they invited people to the party. You can’t invite everyone to the party and bring the matches and gas and then be shocked when the fire erupts.”

City Councilor Patrick Davis is the executive director of ProgressNow. He said his organization’s protest

was planned and executed with the cooperation of APD and Convention Center personnel. The protests were originally planned for Civic Plaza, across Third Street from the west wing of the convention center. But APD vetoed that idea and put the protesters along Second Street and Tijeras where they were close to the convention center’s east wing where Trump’s rally was held.

Photo courtesy of Burque Media Productions

Photo courtesy of Burque Media Productions

Davis said his organization’s protest had concluded at 7 p.m. at which time many of the people left the area. He said he didn’t know who incited the violence, but added that whoever did should be arrested and prosecuted.

APD estimated that 8,000 people attended the Trump rally and about 1,000 showed up for the protest outside the convention center. Several agencies helped coordinate the law enforcement response to the protest, including APD, the U.S. Secret Service, the Albuquerque Fire Department, the New Mexico State Police, the Rio Rancho Police Department, the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department and the University of New Mexico Police Department.

Some of the groups that organized the protests had people trying to keep the peace. Some of them formed a human chain between the protesters and the cops. Espinoza said APD wanted to thank those people who tried to keep things peaceful.

“The Albuquerque Police Department would like to thank the peaceful organizers, especially those who formed a human chain in attempts to deter criminal activity,” Espinoza said.


Featured photos courtesy of Burque Media Productions

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Dennis Domrzalski is managing editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at dennis@freeabq.com.

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  • Colin Holloway
    May 27, 2016, 8:47 am

    I was there as an unaffiliated peacekeeper.
    I was there in the fray, trying to get folks to chill as they tried to storm the more eastern revolving door/glass area. I was there when the pony soldiers charged, forcing people over the barricades, which were knocked down AWAY from the building.
    1) "bottles" is going to bring to mind glass bottles. The bottle thrown were plastic water bottles.
    The light coloured horse (that lead the charge, trapping a SWOP woman in the skirt of the revolving door, I pushed against the wither’s of that horse to allow her to escape) was hit by a plastic bottle, not in the face but the wither. THe horse was fine, the rider was a real piece of work.
    2) "Fist sized rocks". Bullshit. I was hit by a rock on my head. The rocks were the only rocks available there, 3/4", and smaller, xeriscaping rocks. All I suffered was a lump. That was a small price to pay for keeping some poor angry person from being beaten senseless by a cop if they had rushed the line.
    Think about it. Those cops were armored, the protesters and peacekeepers, against the line, myself and other peacekeepers being closest to the cops, were being hit by the same projectiles.
    As a reporter, did you canvass the hospitals to check for injuries amongst the unarmored protesters?
    Shame on you.

    If it has become vogue to think of corporate entities as "persons" it should be understood that the "person" of the Albuquerque Police Department is a pathological liar.
    This has been proven again and again, in courts of law and findings by federal authority.
    To allow the APFD to start the discourse and to held out as an authority is a further travesty of justice.
    Shame on you.

    REPLY
  • Colin Holloway
    May 27, 2016, 8:47 am

    I was there as an unaffiliated peacekeeper.
    I was there in the fray, trying to get folks to chill as they tried to storm the more eastern revolving door/glass area. I was there when the pony soldiers charged, forcing people over the barricades, which were knocked down AWAY from the building.
    1) "bottles" is going to bring to mind glass bottles. The bottle thrown were plastic water bottles.
    The light coloured horse (that lead the charge, trapping a SWOP woman in the skirt of the revolving door, I pushed against the wither’s of that horse to allow her to escape) was hit by a plastic bottle, not in the face but the wither. THe horse was fine, the rider was a real piece of work.
    2) "Fist sized rocks". Bullshit. I was hit by a rock on my head. The rocks were the only rocks available there, 3/4", and smaller, xeriscaping rocks. All I suffered was a lump. That was a small price to pay for keeping some poor angry person from being beaten senseless by a cop if they had rushed the line.
    Think about it. Those cops were armored, the protesters and peacekeepers, against the line, myself and other peacekeepers being closest to the cops, were being hit by the same projectiles.
    As a reporter, did you canvass the hospitals to check for injuries amongst the unarmored protesters?
    Shame on you.

    If it has become vogue to think of corporate entities as "persons" it should be understood that the "person" of the Albuquerque Police Department is a pathological liar.
    This has been proven again and again, in courts of law and findings by federal authority.
    To allow the APFD to start the discourse and to held out as an authority is a further travesty of justice.
    Shame on you.

    REPLY
  • Bill Nevins
    May 27, 2016, 9:15 am

    Why did the ABQ Free Press not include any reporting from INSIDE the actual Trump rally? Was your paper unable to obtain entry? I ask because I was inside the rally and saw "dissidents" (my term for people in the audience who gave any indication that they did not agree with Trump’s words and attitude) being manhandled, beaten and jeered by both the Trump goon-squad and many of the Trump "believers" in the audience. In particular, I witnessed a woman having her blouse ripped off by the mob and then being thrown down a flight of stairs. I saw other violence inflicted on many other dissidents in the audience. The actual police –Secret Service and APD and others whom I could not identify who may have been federal marshalls–in the Convention Center behaved professionally as far as I could see, but the Trump private security thugs and many of the Trump believers acted barbarically. Trump himself leered and sneered and jeered at dissidents. Why was all this not reported upon by ABQ Free Press? A full video of the actual rally and Trump’s behavior is easily available online. If you would like to see my own quietly recorded videos and still photos, I would be willing to show them to you. Please contact me if you want to view them.

    REPLY
  • Brian Fejer
    May 27, 2016, 10:38 am

    "Albuquerque City Council President Dan Lewis attended the rally and blamed the violence on some of the groups that called for the protests—ProgressNow New Mexico and the SouthWest Organizing Project."

    #MakeRepublicansSmartAgain

    Protests are often loosely coordinated or uncoordinated activities, and the people leading the protest don’t have any control over the people who are doing dumb things. http://www.vox.com/2016/5/25/11769120/trump-protest-violent

    REPLY
  • Brian Fejer
    May 27, 2016, 10:38 am

    "Albuquerque City Council President Dan Lewis attended the rally and blamed the violence on some of the groups that called for the protests—ProgressNow New Mexico and the SouthWest Organizing Project."

    #MakeRepublicansSmartAgain

    Protests are often loosely coordinated or uncoordinated activities, and the people leading the protest don’t have any control over the people who are doing dumb things. http://www.vox.com/2016/5/25/11769120/trump-protest-violent

    REPLY
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