Chicago Police say they were not consulted by the Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign before the decision was made to cancel a rally that drew thousands of protesters.
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, UNITED STATES (MARCH 11, 2016) (NBC) – The Chicago Police Department said the Trump campaign’s decision on Friday (March 11) to cancel a rally because of disruptions by several thousand protesters came as a surprise.
The rally for billionaire Donald Trump at the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) was called off as the crowd of thousands who gathered, including both supporters of the Republican front-runner and those who came to protest his candidacy, grew rowdy.
Interim Superintendent John Escalante said the police department and UIC police forces were adequately staffed for the event, despite the protests.
“We were informed that the event was being canceled. The Chicago Police Department had no role. We were not consulted or provided an opinion as to whether or not the event should be canceled. In fact, I can tell you that we did assure the Trump campaign that we had more than adequate resources outside the UIC Pavilion and that we guaranteed them that we could provide safe access and exit for Mr. Trump, and at the same time, we were confident that we were providing security for both the attendees that were going to the pavilion, supporters of Mr. Trump, and the protesters that were outside the pavilion,” Escalante said.
A Trump staffer took the stage nearly a half hour after the rally was slated to begin and told the crowd that the event would be postponed for safety reasons. He did not say when or if it would be rescheduled.
Scuffles in the pavilion resulted in some injuries and arrests, Escalante said.
“It is my understanding at this time that there has been a total of five arrests that were made from this evening at the pavilion. Two arrests were made by the Chicago Police Department. I believe two arrests were made by the University of Illinois Chicago Police Department, and one arrest was made by the state police. We had two officers that were injured, non-life threatening, however one officer was struck on the head with a bottle and received a significant cut on his head that is going to require several stitches,” he said.
Hours after the cancellation, people were still on the streets west of downtown Chicago. Aerial footage showed some protesters obstructing traffic.