Chicago Police Say They Didn’t Advise Trump To Cancel Rally
Chicago Police caught flat-footed?
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump canceled one of his signature rallies on Friday, calling off the event in Chicago due to safety concerns after protesters packed the arena where it was to take place.
The announcement the billionaire businessman would postpone the rally until another day led a large portion of the crowd inside the University of Illinois at Chicago Pavilion to break out into raucous cheers.
Many rushed onto the floor, jumping up and down with their arms up in the air.
“Trump represents everything America is not and everything Chicago is not,” said Kamran Siddiqui, 20, a student at the school who was among those celebrating. “We came in here and we wanted to shut this down. Because this is a great city and we don’t want to let that person in here.”
Some supporters of the Republican front-runner started chanting “We want Trump! We want Trump!” in response to the celebrations, and there were some isolated physical confrontations between members of the crowd.
Chicago police said they made some arrests.
“It’s a shame,” said Trump supporter Bill Tail, 43, of the Chicago suburb of Oaklawn. “They scream about tolerance, but are being intolerant themselves. That doesn’t make sense.”
As Trump attempts to unify a fractured Republican Party ahead of next week’s slate of winner-take-all primary elections, the confrontations between his legion of loyal supporters and protesters who accuse him of stoking racial hatred have intensified at his rallies.[…]
In a telephone interview after postponing his event in Chicago, Trump said he didn’t “want to see people hurt or worse” at the rally, telling MSNBC, “I think we did the right thing.”
But Chicago police said they had sufficient manpower on scene to handle the situation and did not recommended Trump cancel the rally.
That decision was made “independently” by the campaign, said police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.
Trump said the anger on display in Chicago wasn’t directed at him or his campaign, but rather was a manifestation of the public’s deep frustration with economic conditions in the country.
“Our businesses are being taken away from us, our businesses are being moved out of the country,” Trump said on Fox News. “This is a demonstration against economic conditions on both sides.”
But many of the protesters in Chicago said they were there to specifically to stop Trump from speaking.
“Our country is not going to make it being divided by the views of Donald Trump,” said Jermaine Hodge, a 37-year-old lifelong Chicago resident who owns a trucking company. “Our country is divided enough. Donald Trump, he’s preaching hate. He’s preaching division.” More