Nine arrested during weekend rally downtown

Posted at 5:19 PM, Mar 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-27 19:34:02-04

Almost one dozen people arrested over the weekend at pro-Donald Trump rally at city hall in Omaha.

On Saturday roughly 200 people gather for a "Make America Great Again” rally.

Anti-Trump demonstrators also showed up including people from the Black Bloc in Omaha.  Black Bloc protestors wear black, and cover their faces with masks.  OPD says when the groups started getting too close to each other they had to separate them.

OPD says these people were arrested during the incident:

  • Brett Anderson, 28, arrested for obstructing police, disorderly conduct
  • Tatiana Chavez, 26, arrested for disorderly conduct, failure to disperse
  • Emily Dawson, 20, arrested for obstructing
  • Erin Higgins, 30, arrested for obstructing police
  • William Johnson, 25, arrested for obstructing police
  • Alyssa Preciado arrested for concealing a weapon - knife, inciting a riot, obstructing, and unlawful fireworks
  • Catherine Russell, 39, obstructing a police officer
  • William Schweikert, 34, disorderly conduct, failure to disperse, pedestrian right of way on sidewalk
  • Alisha Youmans, 25, obstructing police

Some felt the police were the aggressors during the incident.

Police say they didn't initiate a response until someone threw a smoke bomb into one of the crowds, and officers later deployed pepper balls.

Captain Kathy Gonzalez was there Saturday and says the Black Bloc group had gas masks, smoke bombs, and a chemical similar to mace.  She says they made decisions for the safety of others.

“After that confrontation came up it seemed to be apparent their goal was to in fact disrupt what had been occurring and there have been some intelligence gathered to know their goal is to exist and to cause problems and in fact possibly become violent.  And so we have to look at the totality of the situation and based on the intelligence we gathered there is a potential for extreme violence or injury to others,” Capt. Gonzalez explained.

3 News Now contacted some of the people who were arrested.  Those who responded did not want to comment.