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San Diego Police Brace For Friday's Trump Rally

A map showing free-speech zones designated by San Diego Police Department in advance of a rally by Donald Trump's campaign at the San Diego Convention Center.
10News
A map showing free-speech zones designated by San Diego Police Department in advance of a rally by Donald Trump's campaign at the San Diego Convention Center.

San Diego Police Brace For Friday’s Trump Rally
Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman said the department plans to have a "significant presence" of uniformed and plainclothes officers at the San Diego Convention Center, where presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump will hold a campaign rally.
San Diego Police Brace For Friday's Trump Rally
GUEST: Steve Walsh, reporter, KPBS

Tomorrow the man who now has the delegates needed to win the Republican convention. Donald Trump will hold a rally at 2:00 pm. Many San Diego groups are planning a protest and San Diego is preparing for the protest. Will you actually be in my convention center tomorrow? Guests. Logistically I will have one crew inside with the rally, and one crew outside. They will cover what is going outside. How tight is security? It is pretty tight. We will have local police and Secret Service. You are going to see a lot of security. Especially given that issues that have been coming up lately. They are now on a high alert. They have a very detailed security plan. Do you have an estimate on how many people are going to be at the actual rally? We have not heard from the Trump campaign. I imagine at this point that all of the seats have been reserved but we do not have a number. I know in Anaheim yesterday, there were 7400 people at the convention center. So you can probably figure that it will be around 12,000. There has been instances of violence and arrest around trumps rallies in New Mexico and Anna Hamm. -- Anaheim. Steve, what are they saying? They say they are going to have an officer. They are going to be very visible. They are going to have plainclothes officers moving throughout the rally inside and out. And make sure that they have enough people. Chief Zimmerman, she wants this to be a peaceful event in San Diego. We are very well-prepared and we want to respect everybody. But we are not going to tolerate unlawful behavior. It is going to be a peaceful environment. When it comes to distrust men or unlawful behavior, we are going to take swift action. To make sure it is a peaceful event. What is the action that the police are going to take? In front of the convention center they are going to have two free speech zones. They will have one that is against Trump I want for those who are for Trump. So you are going to see a lot of folks attending the rally. Did you get a sense that there is going to be a police presence that will keep the two parties apart? Yes. We have seen some of these rallies, now the police are sharing security plans. We had the sheriff, forming lines. It seems that it is an observation over the last couple of rallies, it seems to be a pattern going on. People will have a protest but they are peaceful. Sometimes there is shouting back and forth. Afterwards, when people are exiting the building -- they clear off and then there will be folks, at the end. As the police cleared the area this is when we begin to see a confrontation. This is usually a long time after the rally has been wrapped up. Are there any and tape from protest -- Annie from. I will tell you there are many groups. We see a large number of groups that are going to be staging a march over at the park. There is one over at Union. They are going to walk to the convention center from their. -- there. There is a group that we see on Facebook that have 1700 people that are interested in, smashing Trump. They are actually showing people how they can get in the rally. And I know it will be confrontational. I know Steve that you will be there tomorrow inside the convention and outside. I was just speaking with Steve Walsh.

Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman said on Wednesday that law enforcement will tolerate no violence, disruptive behavior or unlawful acts when presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump holds a campaign rally at the San Diego Convention Center on Friday.

"For anyone who comes to disrupt, to do illegal activities, we will take swift and decisive action to make sure we have a peaceful event," Zimmerman told news crews outside the San Diego Police Department headquarters in downtown.

The department plans to have a "significant presence" of uniformed and plainclothes officers at the mid-afternoon bayside gathering and has coordinated with state, local and federal agencies to promptly put a stop to any combative or destructive protesters or counter-protesters, the chief said.

The city has designated demonstration zones — one for Trump supporters and another for those who oppose the 69-year-old billionaire real estate magnate's presidential bid — on the northwest and southeast sides of the Harbor Drive center and will strictly enforce attendees' comportment while ensuring their constitutional free-speech rights, Zimmerman told reporters.

"And we are well-prepared to respond," she said.

Zimmerman declined to disclose details of the planned enforcement strategies.

On Tuesday night, violence broke out at a Trump rally in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Several police officers were injured by rocks thrown by protesters, some of whom also hurled bottles and stones at police horses. At least one person was arrested.

During an appearance at the Anaheim Convention Center Wednesday afternoon, some attendees hurled bottles at police, and others tried to climb over a barrier, prompting police to declare an unlawful assembly and begin attempts to disperse the crowd. At least two people were taken into custody.

It was Trump's first visit to Orange County since April 28, when his appearance in Costa Mesa sparked protests that turned violent and resulted in 17 arrests.