The San Jose police chief is now defending the actions of police officers at Trump’s rally when they did nothing to protect Trump supporters from Anti-Trump attacks. Do you think that he should face consequences for this? Or do you think he is right?
SAN JOSE — A day after a melee erupted outside a Donald Trump rally, the San Jose police chief and mayor on Friday defended themselves from a national backlash over their handling of the dramatic and at times violent protest.
On radio talk shows and across social media, some called for Mayor Sam Liccardo’s resignation because of his comments suggesting that Trump was to blame for igniting violence, while police were criticized for failing to protect Trump supporters from angry protesters throwing punches, water bottles and traffic cones.
Some videos showed those attacks and suggested they were unprovoked, but others showed Trump supporters taunting protesters, ripping their Dump Trump signs and throwing the first punches.
While it appeared to many onlookers that police allowed the violence to proceed unchecked, San Jose police Chief Eddie Garcia insisted that it was more important for police to hold their “skirmish line” formations than to stop individual attacks. Four arrests were made.
“We are not an ‘occupying force’ and cannot reflect the chaotic tactics of the protesters,” Garcia told reporters. Unless a victim’s life was in peril or the violence was “spiraling out of control,” he said, officers held back to avoid inciting more violence and having the crowd turn on officers. He also said the 250 police weren’t enough to control the roughly 400 protesters.
Liccardo praised the police restraint.
“I can say if there was a single excessive baton blow on anyone in that crowd,” Liccardo said Friday, “that would have made national news.”
Read more: Mercury News