ANAHEIM, Calif. — Supporters and opponents of Donald Trump clashed outside Anaheim City Hall on Tuesday as the City Council was to consider a resolution denouncing the GOP presidential candidate.
According to witnesses, both sides were screaming obscenities at each other before protesters on each side fired pepper spray at each other. An ambulance was called to provide care for two young girls as well as a woman who were hit by pepper spray.
Linda Reedy, a Laguna Niguel resident and member of We the People Rising, a group of Trump supporters, said anti-Trump protesters “goaded” her and her friends. When an unidentified man attacked a friend, Reedy said she tried to pull the stranger off and pepper spray stung her eyes.
“I just think they’re so out of control,” Reedy said, later pulling out a wet cloth to wipe her eyes. “I’m so sick of the anger in this country,” she said.
As of 5:15 p.m., no arrests had been made, Anaheim police Sgt. Daron Wyatt said.
California State University, Fullerton psychology student Keith Carlson, a Trump critic, said he expected more fireworks when the City Council took up the matter Tuesday.
“They both want to be right. What ends up happening is both sides want to speak, but no one wants to listen,” he said. “That’s the problem with this campaign.”
At issue is a council resolution that would condemn the presidential candidate’s “divisive rhetoric.”
Mayor Tom Tait said he questions the legality of the motion requested by Councilwoman Kris Murray at the city’s last council meeting on April 12.
“We’ve taken positions on legislation, but never on a candidate,” Tait said. “Certainly, privately, any council member or I could, but as an official government action — it’s not appropriate.”
However, Murray said the city attorney reviewed the resolution and “it is fully authorized by state law.”
Murray said she proposed the resolution to stand up for “tens of thousands of Anaheim residents who have been the target of Mr. Trump’s campaign trail attacks.”
“The rhetoric and the language he’s using truly go against the grain of the city of Anaheim’s core values as a city of kindness … and as a city that’s inclusive of our diverse community,” Murray said. “Anaheim’s residents … can know that their city officials will not passively condone this type of rhetoric, that denigrates their basic humanity, through our silence.”
Murray said no city resources will be spent in connection with the resolution.
For Reedy, who was hit by pepper spray outside City Hall, opposing the council resolution was a matter of free speech.
“I don’t think it’s right for a government body to denounce a citizen just because they don’t like what he says,” Reedy said. “It’s chilling. It’s anti-American.”