BY DENNIS DOMRZALSKI
Albuquerque police arrested four people at Tuesday night’s protest and disturbance at Donald Trump’s rally at the Albuquerque Convention Center, and are looking to make more arrests, APD said Wednesday.
Two juveniles from inside the rally were cited and released to their parents, and one female, Tylina Hardy, 30, was arrested from inside the rally and charged with disorderly conduct, said APD spokeswoman Celina Espinoza.
Arrested outside the rally and charged with disorderly conduct was 19-year-old Jose Cuevas.
About a dozen other people were detained and escorted out of the area near the convention center, Espinoza said. She added that all of APD’s horses, and their riders who were trying to control the crowd outside the rally were OK.
It wasn’t immediately clear how much damage the rioters did to the convention center and surrounding area. APD said Tuesday night that some officers had been injured by rocks that had been thrown by protesters.
The disturbance began near the end of Trump’s speech. A group of protesters tried to storm the convention center and some began throwing rocks at police. Some protesters set t-shirts on fire. At one point, police released smoke canisters into the crowd. APD Tweeted at 8:58 p.m. Tuesday, “Appears that most of the @RealDonaldTrump protesters have left & remaining contingent is only looking to cause trouble and be destructive.”
Albuquerque City Council President Dan Lewis attended the rally and blamed the violence on some of the groups that called for the protests—ProgressNow New Mexico and the SouthWest Organizing Project. Lewis said he left the convention center after Trump’s speech to help an elderly woman with a walker to her car about two blocks away near Central Avenue.
“We had [plastic water] bottles thrown at us, and one hit her car,” Lewis said. “I saw fights breaking out and I saw fires and I made statements that clearly there were people there to riot and to incite violence. I also believe that the advocacy groups have to share the blame because they invited people to the party. You can’t invite everyone to the party and bring the matches and gas and then be shocked when the fire erupts.”
City Councilor Patrick Davis is the executive director of ProgressNow. He said his organization’s protest was planned and executed with the cooperation of APD and Convention Center personnel. The protests were originally planned for Civic Plaza, across Third Street from the west wing of the convention center. But APD vetoed that idea and put the protesters along Second Street and Tijeras where they were close to the convention center’s east wing where Trump’s rally was held.
Davis said his organization’s protest had concluded at 7 p.m. at which time many of the people left the area. He said he didn’t know who incited the violence, but added that whoever did should be arrested and prosecuted.