“We are not an ‘occupying force’ and cannot reflect the chaotic tactics of the protesters,” Garcia told reporters. Unless a victim’s life was in peril or the violence was “spiraling out of control,” he said, officers held back to avoid inciting more violence and having the crowd turn on officers. He also said the 250 police weren’t enough to control the roughly 400 protesters.
SAN JOSE — A day after a melee erupted outside a Donald Trump rally, the San Jose police chief and mayor on Friday defended themselves from a national backlash over their handling of the dramatic and at times violent protest.
While it appeared to many onlookers that police allowed the violence to proceed unchecked, San Jose police Chief Eddie Garcia insisted that it was more important for police to hold their “skirmish line” formations than to stop individual attacks. Four arrests were made.