The Record, Stockton, Calif
Nearly a dozen people were arrested Wednesday during a pro-Trump rally at the state Capitol in Sacramento.
Sacramento police reported 11 individuals illegally carrying pepper spray had been taken into custody.
Hundreds of demonstrators had gathered in front of the California’s Capitol building to show support for President Donald Trump. Police say one demonstrator was assaulted but not injured and not other reports of arrest have been reported according to numbers the department has gathered thus far.
Cristopher Strika, a Placer County resident, said he came to the rally to show support for his family and the Constitution.
“I didn’t want one person standing out here expected to get everything done,” Strika said.
Despite the one arrest he witnessed, Strika said protesters had generally been peaceful since he had arrived.
“Everybody was pretty chill,” Strika said.
Pro-Trump protesters gathered in cities across the country Wednesday claiming election fraud resulted in the November election being stolen from the president. A pro-Trump mob violently stormed the U.S. Capitol as both houses of Congress meet to formally count the votes cast by the Electoral College and certify Joe Biden’s win. One woman was even shot and killed, Washington D.C. police confirmed.
Gov. Gavin Newsom condemned the extremists supporting President Donald Trump who took over the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday and canceled a previously scheduled press conference in Sacramento as a measure to protect his own staff.
“Peaceful protest is an important mechanism of our democracy but what we are witnessing in our nation’s Capitol building is reprehensible and an outright assault to our democracy and Democratic institutions,” the governor said in a statement.
In response to the protest at the California Capitol Building, staff at the Secretary of State’s Sacramento building announced they planned to close early by 2 p.m., according to a tweet from the Secretary of State’s office.
Although the protest at the stage Capitol in Sacramento had largely dispersed by about 2 p.m., a heavy police present and street barricades remained in place for about another hour. Law enforcement officers stood in the entryways of the Capitol building and nearby courthouse for the California’s 3rd District Court of Appeal.
Sacramento Police Department says more than 200 of its officers had been assigned to the demonstration. California Highway Patrol officers were also on scene.
A large police presence will remain in the area through the night, Sacramento police said.
Strika and Sacramento resident Lisa Ladd chatted with each other for awhile outside the Capitol Building following the protest. Both said that they believed Trump had actually won the election.
It doesn’t make sense that Trump would lose, Strika said, noting the size of the crowds in attendance at the president’s rallies. Strika, who has supported presidential candidates on both sides of the aisle, including voting for President Barack Obama in 2008, says he may have stood on his “soapbox” now and then but was never politically active but felt compelled to get involved after the November election.
”I didn’t want person standing out here expected to get everything done,” Strika said. “If one person can be here then two people can be here, and we all just show support because there’s something broken, there’s something deceptive.”
The Sacramento Bee contributed to this report