FRESNO (CBS / AP) — Two California cities are gearing up for visits by Donald Trump and the possibility of protests Friday, following similar events around the country that led to violence and arrests.
The presumptive Republican presidential nominee will speak in downtown Fresno before traveling to San Diego. He is campaigning ahead of California’s June 7 primary.
San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman said her department prepared by speaking with police agencies in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Anaheim. Officers in uniforms and plain clothes will surround the San Diego event, she said.
“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 said.
Trump’s appearances have brought together large numbers of supporters and protesters, often divided over his comments about immigrants and Muslims and his plan to build a wall on the Mexican border.
At least eight people were arrested outside a Trump rally this week in Anaheim, near Los Angeles. Anti-Trump demonstrators in Albuquerque clashed with police.
Demonstrators in the Southern California city of Costa Mesa last month damaged police cars and threw bottles, leading to 17 arrests.
Fresno police say they don’t expect trouble during Trump’s mid-morning visit, because violence is more likely in the dark of night. Still, they say officers will be out in force.
Fresno resident Eddie Mejia is urging protesters to get their opposition across peacefully.
He is leading a Facebook group of more than 300 people planning to protest Trump’s visit to California’s heavily Latino Central Valley, the nation’s leading farming region.
Demonstrators should bring U.S. rather than Mexican flags to avoid sparking conflict, said Mejia, who fears protesters from outside Fresno will bring violence to his town.
“We want people to know we’re from here,” he said. “We’re not the ones that want to start a riot.”
© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.