President Trump’s Phoenix rally drew thousands of demonstrators to the downtown area near the convention center. But most of the large demonstrations had ended around the same time that the rally did. Still, not everyone went home. The last couple hundred or so anti-Trump protesters on the north side of the convention center were gathered around the intersection of Second and Van Buren streets facing a barricade of police in riot gear, who were blocking off Second Street heading south to the convention center.
I was laying back around 100 feet from the line of police trying to catch a glimpse of how this would end. Though a police helicopter was circling overhead repeatedly telling protesters to go home or face arrest, it would take more than words to clear the area. Suddenly, at least from my vantage, all you could hear was the first pop and then several successive ones, as protesters ran north along Second Street and gas filled the area. I could not see directly what was happening as the police approached through the cloud of gas.
But a protester I met, Art Corella, could, and captured it on video.
As the police move forward, they disperse what appears to be (and sure felt like!) tear gas. Around halfway through the video, they use pepper spray on a lone protester kneeling on the ground before them, and then on some of those who come trying to grab that protester. Some stragglers throw water bottles at the police as they’re retreating, others tried kicking the gas canisters back at the police.
Most of the mass protests went off without incident. But at the end, this is how the police cleared the last outposts of demonstration downtown.