President Trump Supporters and Protesters Gather in Reno - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

President Trump Supporters and Protesters Gather in Reno

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President Trump's visit to Reno drew a wide range of people out to the streets either to catch a glimpse of the Commander in Chief or to protest his arrival. Ryan Canaday and Arianna Bennett spoke to both sides. 

Supporters

There were several dozen people outside the Reno-Sparks Convention Center on Wednesday in support of President Donald Trump's visit to Reno. Ryan Nash was one of many supporters who said he wanted to welcome the President and make his voice heard against protesters.

"They're telling us that we stand for hate but not a single person here that you'll talk to will tell you that they're here for hate, they're here because they're supporting their president,” said Nash.

Nash and others showed their support for the president with signs, chants and even merchandise for fellow supporters to get their hands on. Wednesday’s group said they're proud that the President chose to come to Reno to show support for veterans. In fact, many of the supporters wanted the event to be open to the public so they could attend.

However now that the President has left Reno, supporters like Vernon Stallard hope the next city President Trump visits can see a decline in protestors.

“United we stand, divided we fall, and if these people on the other side don't want to stand united, then we're going to fall,” said Stallard.

Protesters

Donald Trump's presidential visit to Reno drew quite the crowd of protesters. Police estimate that roughly 1,000 people packed the street outside of the Reno-Sparks Convention Center, but despite the large crowd, everything stayed peaceful.

Anti-Trump protesters held signs and chanted "No Trump, no hate," and "Impeach Trump, lock him up" in unison, but they had a lot of different reasons for being there.

"I'm motivated by the fact that somebody could stand around and let bigotry happen and think it's ok," Douglas County resident Marty Hulshof said. "He's the president. I support the office, I just don't support the person in it.

"I'm really just saddened that Trump is our president," Reno resident Amy Akao said. "He doesn't represent what I feel is real, great Americans."

They chanted about healthcare. national security, immigration, and women's rights, but the most common theme was the president's response to the violence in Charlottesville. Many were outraged by what they say was his defense of white supremacists.

"My father fought the Nazis in Europe," Vietnam veteran Graham Stafford said. "My uncle was wounded at Guadalcanal. Let me tell you, they're rolling over in their graves right now because of the support that Donald Trump seems to be giving to Nazis."

Stafford wasn't the only veteran there protesting at an event largely focused on veterans' issues.

"I'm pretty upset about the treatment of veterans and the lying and bullying that's happening," Retired US Navy Master Chief Marie Hanson said, "with a commander in chief who's incompetent."

"I want to protest Trump's presidency," Vietnam veteran John Scire said. "I think he should resign or be impeached. It's clear to me as a former nuclear weapons officer, he is unstable and should not be in charge of our military."

Peaceful Demonstrations

Despite the impassioned messages, it was a completely peaceful protest. Despite a little bit of heckling between supporters and protesters, Reno Police Chief Jason Soto said there were no arrests, injuries, or issues of any kind.

"I specifically want to thank all of our citizens of Reno, and the Reno area, for exercising their first amendment rights and doing so in a respectful manner," Soto said.

It's no easy task corralling 1,000 passionate protesters down a city street, but Soto said they thankfully had several weeks to prepare a plan. They had roughly 100 officers staffing the presidential visit inside and outside the facility, as well as plainclothes officers throughout. Ahead of the event, police met with the leaders of groups planning to organize the protests.

Soto said all that extra staffing will mean a lot of overtime pay, but said he won't know the full totals until next week.

In the end, though, he said he's happy with the planning and the execution.    

"It turned out exactly as we had planned for it to turn out," Soto said. "In terms of logistics, it's very dynamic and it's pretty broad. There's a lot of different things that you have to look at and think about as you're putting one of these events together."

Reno Police also used city trucks to create physical barricades in the intersection where the protesters gathered. Soto said that was a particular concern; he didn't want anyone to be able to drive into the crowd.

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