Police, Trump Supporters Clash with Anti-Trump Protesters in Minneapolis

Minneapolis, MN – Police used pepper spray and horses to violently disperse anti-Trump protesters from around the streets of the Target Center on Thursday night. Many thousands were in attendance at the Trump rally in Minneapolis with additional thousands out in the streets protesting Trump’s presence in their city the night of October 10, 2019.

Though there were brief scuffles between rallygoers and rally protesters, major levels of violence did not occur until police used horses to trample protesters. Watch the live stream of the protests in Minneapolis.

Left-wing #DumpTrump protests had been organized in honor of Trump’s visit, along with an independently-organized anti-capitalist bloc, ‘America Is Canceled‘.

After Trump was finished speaking inside the Target Center, a box of Trump hats and rally flags ended up in the protest on 6th St. and 1st Ave. and was set alight in the middle of the street. Protesters on the ground reported that the items were leftover unsold merchandise from inside the rally that had been thrown by Trump supporters at anti-Trump demonstrators.

Minneapolis Police officers used a fire extinguisher to snuff out the fire and immediately utilized mounted police while shouting “Move back!” to force the crowd to retreat from the scene.

At least three people were reportedly trampled by the horses during the two back-and-forth sweeps by MPD. One person can be seen on video coming up from beneath a horse. Horses have been known to cause heavy bodily injuries to non-riders at protests.

Though some were surprised to see horses being utilized by the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) in this way, the Minneapolis Mounted Police Unit has been around for 23 years.

Mounted police are regularly used as crowd control in downtown streets during bar-close time, where police also routinely use pepper spray. Other protests, such as a 2012 OccupyMN march, festivals, and large events in the downtown area of Minneapolis are patrolled by police on horses.

A Minneapolis Mounted Police Unit seen down the block from the Target Center a few hours before they trampled the crowd

After the mounted unit trampled protesters, some protesters began screaming at police about what they had forced their horses into doing, and lobbed a few water bottles at the officers. Police officers with bicycles then made generous use of pepper spray on the crowd of protesters nearest them.

An MPD officer clearly targeted a Unicorn Riot (UR) videographer with multiple blasts of pepper spray. Another UR videographer also received a dousing of the chemical irritant.

Minneapolis Police targeted a Unicorn Riot reporter with chemical deterrents during Thursday’s anti-Trump protests

This was happening around the same time MPD union boss, Lieutenant Bob Kroll, was inside the rally wearing his notorious “Cops For Trump” shirt as he spoke about the “oppression of police” by a city government which simply wants its police officers not to wear city-issued police uniforms while publicly endorsing political candidates.

After the spraying of chemical deterrents at press and at protesters, one of our reporters was told by an MPD officer the police had been targeting protesters nearest them because of the actions of protesters farther back, out of reach of the chemical spray. Though this is not an uncommon common police tactic, it is uncommon for a police officer to admit it.

Minneapolis Police aim pepper spray canisters at anti-Trump protesters

The actions of the MPD greatly agitated the protesters, who didn’t back down from the lines of police using bicycles to swerve into people. Animal-lovers watching the goings-on via social media voiced concern for the horses who had been roped into the escalated situation.

Many thousands of protesters occupied the intersection of N 7th Street and N 1st Ave, the intersection of the Target Center and well-known Minneapolis music venue First Avenue.

Thousands of protesters took space in front of the historic First Avenue nightclub as police stood behind the first of several lines of metal barricades

All the way down N 1st Ave. thousands of people took space in the festive atmosphere which also occupied the intersection farther at N 6th Street.

Protesters hold a large “Climate Action Now” banner at the Dump Trump protest

One protester described her protest sign to us, which had a photo taped to the top of her 15-year-old self protesting 54 years ago in 1965.

Women’s rights, reproductive rights, the environment, immigration… stop the war. Same bullshit, same thing. Here I am, I’m 69 years old now and I’m still protesting. I regret that our country has this under-layer that comes up … there’s always been a strand of racism.” — #DumpTrump protester, October 10

Whistles sounded shrilly for hours during the demo, in honor of the whistleblower who recently sounded the alarm on Trump’s dealings with Ukraine and set in motion impeachment proceedings against the 45th POTUS.

We interviewed a Vietnam War vet who called Trump a “habitual law-breaker at this point” and stressed the importance of the role of the United States Congress in the health of the United States government, saying “Trump is treating Congress like crap.”

Many Trump supporters who were trying to enter the Target Center via 1st Ave. had to walk a gauntlet of counter-protesters in front of the venue and walk many blocks north and west to the get to the protected entrance.

A symbol of anarchism was tagged on this One Way sign on 1st Ave. and 5th St.

As the Trump rally was letting out, attendees who had parked in the lot kitty-corner from the Target Center were being directed by MPD to exit the lot via 6th Street, still occupied by crowds of protesters. There was a mounted police barricade between 6th Street and Hennepin, and a police presence also on 6th Street and 1st Ave. MPD directed cars exiting the lot through the crowds of protesters.

He’s got a gun!” — Voices from the crowd yelled as a man pointed gun at protesters

A Trump supporter riding as a passenger in one of the vehicles brandished a firearm at protesters as the car was making its way towards Hennepin Avenue through the crowd of people. Protesters can be heard on video beforehand pleading with the driver of the vehicle to consider the safety of the protesters on the streets and the kids in the car.

The next day a woman named Jessie Bellcourt was observed on Facebook boasting that protesters “almost died yesterday“, and how MPD didn’t care that her passenger Curtis Madson had used his firearm to threaten anti-Trump demonstrators.

On October 8, Mayor Jacob Frey had stressed that the MPD “is a neutral entity that is charged with ensuring the public safety of every single resident in the city of Minneapolis.” After the Trump rally, Frey said

Those who were tasked with keeping our residents and visitors safe last night did so with excellence.” — Mayor Jacob Frey, October 11

MPD Chief Arradondo praised his officers for using “appropriate levels of force“, adding that they had “utilized de-escalation skills to defuse tensions by exiting crowds.”

Man whose mouth appears bloodied arrested by MPD during demo against Trump Rally

Many sorts of people were out in the streets the evening of October 10 as rain drizzled on and off through the night. Leftists of every stripe were present, as well as self-identified non-Trump supporters who came out anyways, some out of concern for the safety of their fellow Minnesotans, others for the opportunity to troll their fellow residents.

Perhaps a dozen men were there wearing Oathkeepers symbols on their clothing, and at least one III% (The Three Percenters) had answered the call to come to protect Trump supporters. Many of the Trump rally-goers were from out-of-town, some of them having driven in from rural Minnesota and others from far-away coastal states.

Trump supporter drove from North Carolina to Minnesota for the Trump rally at the Target Center

Several people we interviewed live said they were out protesting Trump because of his betrayal of the Kurdish people this past week, with his deal allowing the Turkish Army to proceed into Northern Syria.

Two women hold “I stand with the Kurds not Trump” “Dump Trump / Traitor” signs at the anti-Trump protest in Minneapolis on October 10, 2019

Inside the rally, Trump disparaged his political opponents in Minnesota like Representative Ilhan Omar and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and attacked Minnesota’s Somali population, which is already facing massive amounts of Islamophobia as well as consistent anti-Black racism and hate crimes.

We interviewed a pair of young adult siblings who had just been escorted out of the Trump rally for having a homemade sign reading “Breed Love” on the bottom, their family surname. Tawny Breedlove said that the event had been somewhat traumatizing, moving her to tears during their armed escort out of the rally.

The siblings were told by security that their sign “was not a Trump-approved sign” to which one of the siblings asked after, “What is wrong with something that says ‘breed love’? Like, you want it to say ‘breed hate’? I’m not understanding.

As Trump fostered hate on the inside, the night outside featured a few fights, small skirmishes, and lots of mocking from people on opposing political viewpoints. Several red MAGA hats were taken from Trump supporters and a Reuters journalist’s eye was bloodied by a Trump supporter who punched him in the face.

At least three people were injured after being trampled by the horses and one was issued a citation for disorderly conduct.


Please consider a tax-deductible donation to help sustain our horizontally-organized, non-profit media organization:

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Vimeo, Instagram, and Patreon.

More from Unicorn Riot 🦄