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Donald Trump rally sees children pepper-sprayed by protesters

The Independent logo The Independent 27/04/2016 Will Worley

Two children were pepper-sprayed after a fracas broke out between supporters and opponents at a rally for Donald Trump.

Both sides had gathered outside the city hall in Anaheim, California, to mark a council proposal to formally denounce the Republican presidential candidate because of his “divisive rhetoric”.

However, tensions quickly escalated outside the venue as both sides shouted and tussled with each other. Pepper spray was discharged in the melee and injured two girls, aged eight and 11, and at least three more adults.

The children and an adult had to be treated by an ambulance. Footage shot on a mobile phone at the event also seems to show a stun gun being brandished and activated, allegedly by a Trump supporter. 

Police later blamed anti-Trump activists for discharging the pepper spray and a photograph shows a man, purported to be a protester against the Republican candidate, firing pepper spray. He later ran away and is being sought by police, according to reports.

© Provided by Independent Print Limited However, journalists at the scene reported witnesses on both sides blamed each other.

“I just think they're so out of control,” Trump supporter Linda Reedy, who was hurt by the pepper spray, told the LA Times.

Ms Reedy blamed the anti-Trump demonstrators for “goading” their own group, adding: “I'm so sick of the anger in this country."

The Anaheim City Council, after a heated and crowded meeting, eventually decided to reject the motion to denounce Trump by 3-2.

Councilwoman Kris Murray, who brought the proposal, argued Mr Trump’s “divisive rhetoric” was not appropriate for Anaheim.

She was reported by the newspaper to have said: “The rhetoric and the language he's using truly go against the grain of the city of Anaheim's core values as a city of kindness and as a city that's inclusive of our diverse community.”

According to Ms Murray, “tens of thousands of Anaheim residents have been the target of Mr Trump's campaign trail attacks.”

Anaheim is the largest city in Orange County and has a majority Latino population.

Mr Trump has been widely condemned for using what critics have said are divisive and racist rhetoric and tactics. Despite this, he has proved immensely popular with many voters, who admire his call for a ban on Muslims entering the US and building a wall on the Mexican border.

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