PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Three people were arrested and four officers suffered minor injuries during a clash between Donald Trump supporters and protesters.
Trump held a rally at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center Wednesday night. The mood outside the building was tense even before the Republican presidential candidate arrived.
Police set up a corridor outside the Convention Center entrance, separating the two sides. Following the rally, there were more shouting matches as demonstrators confronted Trump supporters leaving the building,
According to the criminal complaint, several officers were working a “skirmish line” between Trump supporters and “anarchist members in masks” and protesters. At one point, the anarchists/protesters began using pepper spray on the officers while trying to get to the Trump supporters.
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At least two officers were pepper-sprayed. One of those officers was also allegedly kicked in the back of the knees by Kennon Hooper, 31, of West Oakland. The officer fell to the ground and was kicked once more by Hooper.
Hooper resisted arrest, but was forcibly handcuffed.
A female protester jumped on the back of an officer while they were trying to arrest Hooper. That woman has been identified as Lisa Cuyler, 27, of Polish Hill, and she was detained without incident.
While that was happening, a man wearing a black mask and black hat grabbed the protective vest of a police sergeant and attempted to fight him. A female officer attempted to take the man into custody, but he resisted. Both fell to the ground and the officer suffered a cut to her hand and an injury to her shoulder. The suspect was eventually taken into custody and has been identified as Maxwell Yearick, 29, of Perry South.
All three suspects were taken to the Allegheny County Jail.
Mayor Bill Peduto sang the praises of officers who tried to keep order.
“Things could have gotten out of control very easily and our command staff with the Pittsburgh Police bureau put together a plan, but it was really the rank and file,” he said. “The Pittsburgh Police were able to lower the level of confrontation at the same time not diminishing anyone’s ability to see their first amendment rights carried out.”
Hooper and Yearick are facing charges of riot, aggravated assault and resisting arrest.
Cuyler is being charged with riot and aggravated assault.
Meanwhile, four officers were treated at the scene by medics.
Additionally, a video has surfaced of a police officer allegedly shoving Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reporter Megan Guza to the ground outside of the rally.
Mayor Bill Peduto said his office is aware of the incident and the video has been shared with authorities.