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'Disgusted' police condemn violent protesters at Donald Trump rally in San Jose

'Disgusted' police condemn violent protesters at Donald Trump rally in San Jose
San Jose police move in to disperse a crowd of protesters outside a Thursday rally for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. (Mark Ralston / AFP/Getty Images)

Violence by protesters at a Donald Trump rally in San Jose on Thursday night has sparked criticism of the demonstrators and the reaction to them.

The San Jose police officers union condemned the violence and called on bystanders to provide any video of the incident to investigators.

"I'm disgusted by the violent attacks yesterday that have no place in our society or our political process," said Paul Kelly, president of the San Jose Police Officers' Assn.

Meanwhile, San Jose’s police chief told the San Jose Mercury News that there were not enough officers on hand during the event. He said there were about 250 officers and more than 400 protesters.

"Obviously, in hindsight, it wasn't enough," Chief Eddie Garcia told the paper.

Trump, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, has been dogged by protesters during appearances in California in recent weeks. Dozens were arrested during protests in Costa Mesa and Anaheim. Protesters in Burlingame temporarily stymied Trump from entering a hotel for a speech.

But the situation in San Jose was more extreme.

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Some Trump supporters leaving the candidate's rally were targeted by anti-Trump demonstrators, some of whom threw punches and eggs.

A dozen or more people were hit, and car windows were broken, authorities said. Pro-Trump hats grabbed from supporters were set on fire on the ground. At least one woman was pelted with an egg.

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Mayor Sam Liccardo, a Democrat and Hillary Clinton supporter, criticized Trump for coming to cities and igniting problems that local police departments had to deal with.

"At some point, Donald Trump needs to take responsibility for the irresponsible behavior of his campaign," Liccardo told the Associated Press.

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The San Jose Mercury News, in an editorial, criticized the protests.

“Protesters fell into Donald Trump's trap with their response to his campaign tactics Thursday. It was not one of San Jose's finer moments. Violence has no place in American politics,” the paper wrote.

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UPDATES:

2:10 p.m.: This article was updated with comments from the San Jose police chief.

1:39 p.m.: This article was updated with comments from the San Jose police officers union.

This article was originally published at 12:34 p.m.

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