Police: We could have kept Trump rally in Chicago controlled but were told to stand down to paid protestors.
Fox News reports:
A union that represents 54 officers from the University of Illinois at Chicago Police Department is speaking out—arguing the chaotic Donald Trump rally on campus last week did not have to escalate to an extreme level of disorder and could have continued as planned.
The Metropolitan Association of Police Board Director, Ray Violetto, tells Fox News that UIC Police Chief, Kevin Booker, issued unusual stand-down orders including instructions that officers not bring pepper spray or wear dark gloves to the Trump rally—items the union officers say are basic and necessary equipment in any type of crowd control.
Violetto tells Fox News the UIC police were the agency in charge considering the Trump rally was on the school’s campus and that the officers were in charge of policing the inside of the arena.
“I think the inside is what started that and I think it carried outside,” Violetto told Fox News. “If you watch the inside of the rally there was a pretty large group there that was getting out of control along with the individual that was at the podium.”
Violetto said officers were also told not to touch anyone or make arrests. The UIC officers say they have been extensively trained in handling crowds and riots and could have adequately controlled the situation that night.