Protests outside Trump rally turn violent

Protests outside Trump rally turn violent

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Protesters clash with police outside a Donald Trump campaign event in Costa Mesa, Calif. (EPA/Eugene Garcia)

COSTA MESA, Calif. — Protesters clashed with police officers here in Costa Mesa, Calif., after a campaign rally Thursday hosted by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, where individuals angrily vandalized vehicles and in one instance smashed the windows of a police car.

The incident marked the most recent flash of tensions that have followed Trump to campaign events around the country. Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the Orange County Fair & Event Center after Trump finished delivering a speech, chanting and waving signs insulting the candidate.

The chaotic scene featured several instances of violence, though the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, said no injuries were formally reported. One Trump supporter, who had been apparently punched in the face, was seen bleeding from his face. Neither the assailant nor the victim were immediately identified.

The situation escalated when a protester smashed the back window of a police cruiser. The next moment, someone jumped onto the vehicle and aggressively stomped on the top. Others began to jostle the car back and forth as people in the crowd egged on the action.

A robust cadre of police officers sought to disperse the protesters, who were blocking traffic, by forming a line to nudge the protesters down the street.

“Let’s go! Go home!” police officers shouted, continuing to push the line forward.

“They want to batter us, they want to oppress us. F— that s—,” yelled one young woman as the crowed was moved along.

The department reported several detentions but had not yet made the number of arrests available at time of publication.

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