#TrumpInTx: Trump Ends Hour-long Dallas Rally, Supporters And Protesters Interact | KERA News

#TrumpInTx: Trump Ends Hour-long Dallas Rally, Supporters And Protesters Interact

Jun 16, 2016

Donald Trump came to Dallas Thursday night to rile up a crowd of thousands inside Gilley's on South Lamar, and after the rally, supporters and protesters began heading home but not without some contentious encounters.

Inside the Dallas entertainment venue, Trump offered a meandering hour-long speech that didn't dive deep into policy details, but rather rehashed his campaign victories, bashed presumptive Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton and "decried the general state of the country," KERA's Christopher Connelly reported. 


The clearest policy message heard and chanted at the rally? "Build that wall."

On the outside, more than one thousand protesters, many dressed in white t-shirts symbolizing peace waved American flags and chanted anti-Trump messages in both English and Spanish. The scene was calm before and during the rally, until supporters started leaving the venue, KERA's Stella Chávez reported.

Dallas Police Department reported one arrest for disorderly conduct and approximately seven people were extracted for causing conflict in the crowd.

Photojournalist Danny Fulgencio suffered the worst known injury after being struck by a rock while taking photos for Dallas Advocate. According to Fulgencio's post on Facebook, he didn't see the blow coming or who it was. Dallas police rushed to his aide, and he continued working fifteen minutes later. 

Trump will make his second stop on his Texas leg of rallies at The Woodlands Waterway hotel in Houston, according to his campaign schedule.

Update 7:17 pm, Thursday: Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, has taken the stage at Gilley's. Follow @keranews on Twitter for live tweets from the rally. 


Watch the rally here:

Update 7 pm: Officials are speaking, including Tarrant County Commissioner Andy Nguyen, Wayne Christian, the Republican nominee for railroad commissioner and U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess and others.


Outside the rally, police sharpshooters are standing on building, looking through binoculars and monitoring the crowd outside, KERA's Stella Chávez reported. 

Update 6:30 pm: KERA reporter Stella Chávez said Dallas police on bikes were escorting protesters around the block so there would be no confrontation with pro-Trump supporters, many of whom are exercising their open carry rights at the rally. Chávez said protests are carrying on peacefully.

Update 6 pm: Attendees are filling up the 90,000 square-foot rally venue to wait for Trump's 7 p.m. start time. And protesters are starting to march and chant outside Gilley's.

Update 5:45 pm: Thousands of supporters and protesters are expected before the event. The rally venue itself has a capacity of about 4,000.


Update 5:22 Supporters and protesters are making their way to Gilley's in the Cedars about 90 minutes from the start of the event. 


Update, 5 pm: John Rhodes of Red Oak showed up at Gilley’s nightclub around 10 a.m., according to Fort Worth Star-Telegram, hoping to see Donald Trump for a third time.

Update, 4:30 pm: People are lining up outside and filing into Gilley's before Donald Trump's rally in the Cedars begins at 7 p.m.

Thousands of Donald Trump supporters and protesters are expected to show when doors open at 4 p.m. at Gilley’s across from Dallas Police headquarters on South Lamar Street in the Cedars.

As many as 10,000 protesters could show at the event, which begins at 7 p.m., according to The Dallas Morning News. Organizers are asking participants to wear white to "symbolize peace, and marshals wearing yellow shirts will be in the crowd to help keep the peace."

Several North Texas Hispanic organizations plan to protest Trump's visit. One protest organizer Domingo Garcia says those protesting Trump will stay peaceful, according to KERA's Christopher Connelly's report.

“He’s probably the most hated man in America right now, but he has the right to say his hate, and his haters have the right to support their hater in chief,” Garcia says.

Garcia says his organization has rented busses to get protesters to the rally. They’ve been told to wear white and carry only American flags.

Another local activist Carlos Quintanilla has been posting details on his Facebook page. The Dallas Morning News reported Quintanilla wants to pressure Dallas investor Ray Washburne, vice chairman of the fundraising partnership between the national Republican Party and Trump's campaign, into coming out against Trump's comments about Mexican immigrants. 

Trump is attending a private campaign fundraiser in Dallas in addition to the rally, which could prove difficult considering he's alienated the establishment, said TCU political scientist Jim Riddlesperger.

Street, DART Closures

Due to expected protesters, the police department closed South Lamar between the 1000 block and the 1300 block at Belleview around 2 p.m., according to the department's blog. Delays can be expected in the area because of the closures and high traffic volume.

Dallas Area Rapid Transit routes 26, 155 and D-Link (722) were placed on detour at 2 p.m. as well. These detours will remain in place until the streets are reopened, DART said. See detour details on DART's site.

Dallas Police Training For Expected Protesters

About 550 police officers participated in "crowd management" training and conducted protest simulations Wednesday. In an interview recorded on Periscope, police chief Jeff Cotner said the training was meant to prepare officers for "election season" avoiding specifically naming Trump's rally.

Here's a police statement from the blog regarding the expected demonstrators:

"The Dallas Police Department is committed to protecting every person’s right to free speech and to assemble peaceably. However, there will be no tolerance for individuals who engage in criminal activity or attempt to incite violence or civil disorder.  In order to accomplish this, a significant number of police officers, both uniformed and undercover, will be utilized to maintain order."

Earlier This Week

Grand Prairie and Irving declined offers to host the rally, citing public safety concerns and lack of adequate planning time. The Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center in downtown Dallas was the third venue to decline the offer due to a previously scheduled event this weekend.   

The schedule was updated Wednesday afternoon to include a Houston rally Friday night as well.