PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It was a raucous crowd Wednesday night outside the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.
On one side of a police line, Donald Trump supporters, and on the other side were demonstrators on a mission to shut the Trump rally down.
Police were constantly on the move, keeping both sides apart.
It was tense from the start, even as the Trump motorcade pulled up to the Convention Center and several protesters tried to stop it.
Finally, police set up a corridor outside the Convention Center entrance, separating the two sides.
Those wanting to hear Trump were allowed inside, and at the same time, police were not allowing protesters in. Demonstrators were allowed to get their message out, but they were not being allowed to block the entrance way.
Trump supporter Bryan Letcher, of Kennedy Township, said, “They can do whatever they want, as long as it’s peaceful.”
Protestor Rebecca Dix argued that Trump’s message “really isn’t one that brings the country together.”
Before Trump was done speaking, the Secret Service made the decision not to allow anyone else inside the building. It was a decision apparently based, in part, on the ongoing rowdiness of the demonstration outside.
Trump supporters who didn’t get to hear their candidate were clearly disappointed.
Carolyn Pantone, from Shaler Township, said, “We really hoped to get in. He’s positive and wants to make America great again.”
Brian Podorson, with a group called Bikers for Trump, said, “[The protesters] just got to grow up. It’s not reality what they’re talking about over there.”
When the rally finally concluded, there were more shouting matches as demonstrators confronted Trump backers who were leaving the building, each side trying to drown out the other’s message.
Pittsburgh Police made three arrests, and two officers were pepper sprayed by a demonstrator.