Watch Newly Released Phoenix Police Videos of Chaos After Trump Rally in August

Police released videos of the Trump rally at the Phoenix Convention Center in August
Police released videos of the Trump rally at the Phoenix Convention Center in August Screen shot from Phoenix Police Department video

When President Donald Trump came to the Phoenix Convention Center for a rally back in August, it was like pouring gas on a fire.

There was Trump's already-inflammatory speech just after violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. There was a mention that Sheriff Joe Arpaio would be "just fine" after his criminal contempt charge. Then, there was actual gas.

Around 8:30 that night, police released green tear gas and pepper balls on a large crowd of mostly peaceful protesters. Officials said a few protesters were throwing water bottles and rocks at police officers who were dressed in riot gear. They said warnings were given to the crowd to disperse.

Today, Phoenix police finally released more than a dozen videos from the rally after a public records request by Phoenix New Times and other media organizations and a suit by the  ACLU accusing the police department of withholding public records for too long.

Here's one video from that night. You can see water bottles being thrown and gas being deployed:

Video taken on the Convention Center side of East Monroe Street captures at least two items that look like water bottles being thrown towards police. Then a group of officers walks out towards the fence line followed by intense popping sounds. Other water bottles are thrown and a can leaking blue gas appears to be tossed back towards police, landing behind the fence on the Convention Center side of the street.

Protesters continue to line the other side of the street and chant with signs. Then someone says, “Oh they’re about to do the gas.”

Not long after, you can see sparks fly across Monroe Street before yellow gas drifts through the crowd, spreading quickly. Protesters mill about in apparent panic, not automatically fleeing the scene.

The smoke fills the sky.

At the end of the video one man off-screen seems to summarize the situation well: "That sucks."

New Times
reporters will examine the rest of the videos and provide an update soon.
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Molly Longman