Violence at rallies for Donald Trump is nothing new — in the last few weeks alone, Trump protesters and police have clashed in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and in Anaheim, California; in New Mexico, several police officers were injured by rocks and bottles protesters threw, and multiple people were arrested in Anaheim.
The scene was similar at a Trump rally in San Jose, California, Thursday night, but this time, instead of tussling with police, Trump protesters reportedly let loose on Trump’s supporters. According to the Associated Press, at least a dozen supporters of the presumptive GOP nominee were pulled into brawls and punched, one woman was pelted with eggs and other food, and several “Make American Great Again” hats were snatched and set aflame.
The rally ended just before 8 p.m. (11 p.m. EST), and attendees — of whom there were an estimated 300 — began to filter out of the San Jose Convention Center. But a crowd of protesters chanting and holding flags and signs awaited them. One woman wearing a Trump jersey was cornered by the mob, shoved into a corner, screamed at, and hit with an egg.
Another Trump supporter was struck in the head from behind; he walked away with blood spattered on his shirt.
After the rally, several scuffles broke out between Trump supporters and protesters as riot police stood by, according to reporters on the scene.
About half an hour after the rally ended, police reportedly declared the gathering an unlawful assembly. Officers moved in to contain the protesters, at which point, fights between police and protesters broke out. Based on video footage from the scene it appears several protesters were apprehended, although the San Jose Police Department has yet to confirm any arrests.
Although one reporter said police had “lost control” of the crowd, another in the same area maintained that police didn’t let things get out of hand. San Jose mayor Sam Liccardo said he was pleased with the police response. “Our officers have done an extremely courageous and professional job so far,” he told the AP. “We’re still holding our breath to see the outcome of this dangerous and explosive situation.”
But by midnight EST, most crowds had reportedly dispersed.
Top aides from both the Sanders and the Clinton campaigns were quick to condemn the violence surrounding Trump’s rally, although neither candidate has spoken directly on the matter.
Liccardo’s response was more blunt: “At some point Donald Trump needs to take responsibility for the irresponsible behavior of his campaign.”