Donald Trump's Chicago Rally Canceled Due To 'Security Concerns,' Prompting Violence & Police Action
On Friday evening, a Donald Trump rally in Chicago was canceled due to security concerns. Pretty soon, massive crowds had gathered in the street and violence had broken out between protesters, Trump supporters and police.
The rally had been scheduled to take place at the University of Illinois at Chicago pavilion, but the Trump campaign canceled it a half hour after it was supposed to begin. The streets filled up with protesters and attendees, and not long thereafter, streaming helicopter footage from NBC 5 showed multiple instances of violence breaking out.
"Mr. Trump just arrived in Chicago and after meeting with law enforcement has determined that for the safety of all of the tens of thousands of people that have gathered in and around the arena, tonight's rally will be postponed to another date," Trump's campaign said in a statement. "Thank you very much for your attendance and please go in peace." However, Chicago police say that they weren't consulted on Trump's decision to cancel the rally, according to NBC Nightly News.
According to Politico, anti-Trump protesters had gathered at the UIC pavilion before the rally was scheduled to begin. Several were removed by security before the event was scheduled to begin, including one who stepped onto the stage at which Trump was meant to speak. Anti-Trump demonstrators chanted, "Let him stay!" after one black protester was escorted out; this prompted counter-chants of "USA!" by the Trump crowd, and a reminder over the loudspeaker urging Trump supporters not to "touch the protester." Several men wearing "Muslims Against Trump" shirts were also removed from the event by security.
When the rally was canceled, anti-Trump protesters jubilantly chanted, "We stopped Trump!" Others chanted, "Bernie! Bernie!" which suggests that the Trump-Sanders crossover vote may not be as big as some have theorized.
Not long thereafter, Trump supporters and protesters filed into the streets outside of the arena. Streaming footage from the air showed absolutely massive crowds of people, and several fights broke out between police and protesters on the ground.
When asked about the violence at his event later in the night, Trump responded by claiming "You can't even have a rally anymore" and asking, "Whatever happened to freedom of speech?" Trump declined to address the chaos on his Twitter account, although he did send off a tweet touting his support in Guam shortly after the violence erupted in Chicago.