A rally for Donald Trump in Chicago became so violent and chaotic on Friday that the Republican frontrunner was forced to cancel it at the last minute.
In news footage of the arena floor, groups of Trump supporters and protesters were seen fighting amid rising tensions over the racist rhetoric at the rallies. One protester got up on stage and stood behind the podium, ripping up a campaign sign until security pulled him away. Chicago police were called in to help deal with the chaos. Protesters were pleased with the cancelation, chanting "we stopped Trump!" as the crowd left the arena.
In a statement, the Trump campaign said that he had “just arrived in Chicago and after meeting with law enforcement has determined that for the safety of all of the tens of thousands of people that have gathered in and around the arena, tonight’s rally will be postponed to another date.” The statement concluded, “Thank you very much for your attendance and please go in peace.”
Trump has passed up several opportunities to denounce the hateful tone of his rallies, where his supporters have frequently been filmed physically harming peaceful protesters and media have been kept corraled and largely out of sight. During last night's debate, he even made excuses for the violent actions as the result of "love" and "passion" for the country. Trump has also been quick to blame protesters, many of whom are affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement, for inciting violence, when in fact nearly every incident can be attributed to his own supporters.
He reiterated these lies while speaking to Don Lemon on CNN after abruptly canceling the Chicago rally. During the conversation, he blamed unemployment among Black youth for the violence.
It's safe to say American politics has never seen anything quite like this.