The aftermath of a Donald Trump rally in Southern California on Thursday turned particularly messy. Hundreds of protesters gathered in the streets outside the Orange County venue to make their feelings about the Republican front-runner known. While there were no reports of major injuries, the demonstrations were far from peaceful.
Several protesters were captured on video throwing rocks at passing cars, one was recorded jumping up and down on the roof of a cop car, and—according to the Associated Press—at least one scuffled with a Trump supporter who was trying to drive away from the rally, leaving the Trump supporter’s face bloodied. Local police said they made roughly 20 arrests.
Here’s the AP with more on the tense scene on the ground:
Dozens of cars—including those of Trump supporters trying to leave—were stuck in the street as several hundred demonstrators blocked the road, waved Mexican flags and posed for selfies. Police in riot gear and on horseback pushed the crowd back and away from the venue. … The crowd began dispersing about three hours after the speech ended. …
Earlier in the evening, a half-dozen anti-Trump protesters taunted those waiting to get into the venue. Trump supporters surrounded one man who waved a Mexican flag and shouted “Build that wall! Build that wall!”—a reference to Trump’s call to create a barrier between the United States and Mexico to stop illegal border crossings.
And a few choice shots from Twitter:
While there was a scattering of mostly peaceful protests in the lead-up to the event, tensions appear to have boiled over after Trump was done speaking at the Pacific Amphitheatre. (The size of the crowd inside is in some dispute: The AP pegged it at 18,000 while the Los Angeles Times estimated the figure to be only 8,000.)
The celebrity demagogue, who briefly feigned in the direction of acting more “presidential” earlier this month, instead went with a set list of his greatest xenophobic hits. According to the Times account, Trump surrounded himself on stage with people carrying photos of family members they say were killed by immigrants in the country illegally and had the crowd cheering with his promise to make Mexico pay for a wall along the U.S. border. He also touted the benefits of torture, fearmongered about Syrian refugees, and repeated a made-up story about a U.S. Army general executing Muslim terrorists with bullets dipped in pig blood more than a century ago.
Elsewhere in Slate: A Running List of Violence Inside Trump Campaign Rallies