MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - One person was arrested and another was cited in downtown Minneapolis amid protests outside of the Target Center where President Donald Trump held a campaign rally Thursday night, according to the Minneapolis Police Department. Several officers and police horses were also assaulted.
For much of the day, protests were mostly peaceful. But, as the rally came to an end and rally goers exited the arena, tensions escalated and things turned violent.
In a statement, Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said the majority of people who gathered downtown for the rally and subsequent protests were “peaceful and respectful,” but officers did engage with some people who demonstrated “aggressive or illegal behavior.”
Arradondo said some officers were assaulted while trying to keep things under control. He said people threw objects “containing liquid believed to be urine” as well as bottles and rocks at officers. Protesters also struck police horses with sticks.
At one point during the night, officers used mace, tear gas and other methods to disperse the crowds. Arradondo defended this decision, saying officers used “appropriate levels of force, including chemical irritants, while responding to, at times, violent and aggressive individuals causing harm to others in attendance.”
“Officers practiced admirable restraint and utilized de-escalation skills to defuse tensions by exiting crowds,” he said.
Arradondo said the police department will be conducting an internal review, however, to ensure the officers followed department policy and procedures in their decision to use force.