A protest outside a Donald Trump rally in New Mexico on Tuesday turned violent after several protesters began throwing burning T-shirts, plastic bottles and other items at police, authorities say.
The scene outside the Albuquerque (N.M.) Convention Center turned chaotic as officers responded to the protesters’ taunts by firing pepper spray and smoke grenades into the crowd, officials say.
“This was not a protest, this was a riot. These are hate groups,” Albuquerque attorney Doug Antoon, who attended the rally, told the Associated Press.
Inside the rally, several protesters held up signs reading, “Trump Is Fascist” and “We’ve Heard Enough,” opposing the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s position on immigration. Protesters then resisted security officers’ attempts to remove them from the venue, AP reports.
That didn’t stop the thousands of cheering fans from screaming loudly in support of Trump, who continued to bait protesters as they were being removed, AP reports. At one point, Trump mocked them by saying, “Go home to Mommy.”
Trump then asked the crowd, “How old is this kid?” referring to a demonstrator. He then provided his own answer: “Still wearing diapers,” AP reports.
Trump supporters began chanting, “Build that wall!”
Later that evening, seemingly unfazed by the protest both inside and outside the rally, Trump tweeted, “Great rally in New Mexico, amazing crowd!”
Read more at the Associated Press.