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Phoenix Police Deploy Tear Gas To Disperse Protesters

Phoenix police order protesters outside the venue where President Trump held a rally Tuesday to disperse. Officers used tear gas to try to force the crowd to leave.

Police in Phoenix, Arizona deployed tear gas, flash bang grenades, and pepper spray to disperse protesters shortly after President Trump wrapped up his rally at the city's Convention Center.

Reporters on the scene say the gas canisters apparently were fired after someone among the protesters threw water bottles at the police. The police action appeared successful — photos of the streets around the venue show that the crowd of protesters had largely diminished. The Phoenix Police Department ordered everyone to leave the area.

Earlier, there were reports that another group of protestors had left the scene at the Convention Center and were marching towards the state capitol.

While the President was speaking, several dozen people outside the venue were taken to the hospital after suffering from heat exhaustion. Phoenix has experienced triple-digit temperatures all day.

Before Trump's rally, the Associated Press reported there had been some minor scuffles and shouting matches between Trump supporters and critics as people stood in line to get into the Convention Center.

NPR affiliate KJZZ's Michel Marizco and Carrie Jung report that protesters yelled "shame on you" at attendees entering the center.

Protesters also chanted "Donald Trump has got to go" and "this is what democracy looks like."

Overall, the protests have remained mostly calm and police are keeping both sides separated.

Trump appeared at the rally despite a plea from Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton that he not visit the city in the aftermath of the Charlottesville violence.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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