Protestors showed up outside Selland Arena during the Donald Trump rally on Friday. Fresno Police in riot gear kept the peace, and Chief Jerry Dyer was even there trying to keep tensions low.
Dyer said two arrests were made on Friday. He said two women refused to get off the street even though Dyer had warned protesters to clear the area.
“Asking folks to leave peacefully, and we’re asking those folks that are sitting down that would please get up and leave peacefully,” said Dyer to the crowd from a police vehicle.
Almost all of the protesters were cooperative, but there were others who refused to listen.
Dyer said to the crowd, “We do not want any confrontation!”
But it was the leader of the police department who was able to get through to many who were angry with Trump.
“Patience was the absolute key in having a really good plan in place, even when things changed in the middle of it. Patience was the key and good communication with the crowd,” said Dyer.
Dyer, who has been Chief since 2001, spent the entire morning walking around, taking pictures, and talking directly to those protesting. He was personable, and people seemed to respond to his calm demeanor.
“Whatever it took to get people to understand, we’re not against them, we just want a peaceful assembly,” stated Dyer.
More than 175 officers from Fresno, Clovis, the California Highway Patrol, and the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office helped with controlling the crowd. Dyer said it helped that the rally was during the day and he’s proud no one was injured. It took about four hours to finally get the crowd to get off the streets and go home.