Donald Trump praises SDPD; 35 arrested at rally

Posted at 11:09 AM, May 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-28 19:12:41-04

A total of 35 protesters were arrested, including a city attorney candidate, following an appearance at the San Diego Convention Center by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, according to police.

"I was tackled by several police officers for filming their riot (Friday) following the Trump protest, when they forced all protesters all the way to Barrio Logan," Bryan Pease, candidate for San Diego city attorney, said Saturday in a statement. "Message: go back to Barrio Logan."

"I was then held for 10 hours in a cramped, filthy jail cell with 20 other individuals similarly falsely arrested until our bail of $500 each was processed," Pease said.

Pease also referred to the "militarization of the police department" and his plan for what he would do about it if elected.

According to police, confrontations between protesters and police erupted Friday afternoon, including the throwing of rocks and bottles at officers. The protests were mostly peaceful before Trump's speech, but some who later tried to scale a barricade were turned back by police. After the speech, several confrontations disrupted what had been an orderly dispersal outside the Convention Center.

"The situation rapidly changed from predominantly peaceful protests that we had been seeing all day long, to acts of violence between opposing protesters, which included fights, objects being thrown into the crowd and the crowd pushing and shoving each other," San Diego Police Department Chief Shelley Zimmerman said in her final media briefing Friday night.

"To keep the peace and to prevent further acts of violence -- just like we said that we were going to do all day -- we took very quick and decisive action and we issued an unlawful assembly order," Zimmerman said. "We did this to control the crowd, secure the area and also to maintain the safety of all of our public."

There were no reports of property damage, but 18 people received medical attention, including two who were hospitalized.

Hundreds of officers, deputies and agents from more than 18 local, state and federal agencies were part of the public safety plan headed up by the SDPD. None of them was injured.

Zimmerman said the thousands of people in the crowd were mostly peaceful and it was only a handful of protesters who sparked the violence.

"I couldn't be more proud of everybody today, all law enforcement and public safety personnel who went out there and really showed just tremendous, tremendous patience and professionalism what they did today," she said Friday night.

Trump tweeted his praise of the San Diego Police Department on Friday: "Fantastic job on handling the thugs who tried to disrupt our very peaceful and well attended rally. Greatly appreciated!"