A Friday afternoon Donald Trump rally at St. Louis's Peabody Opera House turned violent and confrontational as local activists interrupted the GOP frontrunner's speech inside the venue, while outside, Trump fans and foes engaged in arguments that sometimes turned violent. At least 12 protesters were detained at the venue after, according to theRiverfront Times:
"The protesters stood in the aisles and linked arms before being pried apart by multiple police officers. The protesters went limp or were yanked to the ground as police used zip ties and handcuffs to detain them in the aisles. "
The candidate, whose rallies have frequently been the site of both protests and violence against protesters (and occasionally violence against journalists), took the opportunity to speak out against the protesters, saying, via Politico, that "part of the problem and part of the reason it takes so long [to kick them out] is nobody wants to hurt each other anymore."
"There used to be consequences. There are none anymore," he added. "These people are so bad for our country. You have no idea folks, you have no idea."
Outside the event, Trump supporters who couldn't get into the at capacity opera house argued loudly with protesters and got into shouting matches, with police taking some people into custody. One man who was being taken to an ambulance by police, who said his name was Anthony Cage, had a bloody face, though it was not immediately clear how he was injured. Plenty of videos posted to social media captured the mood:
These clashes came less than a day after violence at Donald Trump's campaign events became a topic during Thursday night's Republican presidential debate. Asked if he had helped create a violent mood that resulted in protesters being hurt by attendees, Trump answered, "I hope not," but he added that his supporters "have anger that's unbelievable."
Follow Mike Pearl on Twitter.