'Just Don’t Want to See People Hurt': Trump Postpones Chicago Rally for Safety Concerns | NBC Chicago
Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

'Just Don’t Want to See People Hurt': Trump Postpones Chicago Rally for Safety Concerns

“I think it was the right thing to do under the circumstances," he said

Donald Trump postponed his Chicago rally for safety concerns after thousands of protesters and supporters gathered inside the University of Illinois-Chicago Pavilion Friday. NBC 5's Mary Ann Ahern reports. (Published Saturday, March 12, 2016)

Donald Trump postponed his Chicago rally for safety concerns after thousands of protesters and supporters gathered inside the University of Illinois-Chicago Pavilion Friday.

"Mr. Trump just arrived in Chicago and after meeting with law enforcement that for the safety of tens of thousands of people that have gathered in and around the arena, tonight's rally will be postponed until another date," an announcer said. "Thank you very much for your attendance and please go in peace."

'Don’t Want to See People Hurt': Trump Postpones UIC Rally'Don’t Want to See People Hurt': Trump Postpones UIC RallyDonald Trump postponed his Chicago rally for safety concerns after thousands of protesters and supporters gathered inside the University of Illinois-Chicago Pavilion Friday. (Published Friday, March 11, 2016)

The crowd erupted in shouts and cheering and some scuffles broke out in the minutes after the announcement. 

Shortly after, Trump spoke with MSNBC saying he met with law enforcement for about a half hour before the event. 

“I think it was the right thing to do under the circumstances," he said. However, CPD said in a statement after the interview the department had not advised Trump's campaign to cancel the rally and did not issue any public safety threats or safety risks.

Sky 5: Brawls Break Out in Large Crowds After Trump Cancels Chicago RallySky 5: Brawls Break Out in Large Crowds After Trump Cancels Chicago RallyChicago Police brawl with protesters outside UIC Pavilion after Trump cancels rally. Sky 5 reports. (Published Friday, March 11, 2016)

Trump also noted there was a high demand for people to attend the rally. 

“We’ve had by far the biggest rallies. We had over 25,000 people wanting to come today," he said. "We have had very little protest and we’ve had nobody hurt."

He also addressed concerns surrounding protesters at the event.

"You can’t even have a rally in a major city in this country anymore without violence, or the potential of violence. That’s why we called it off," he said. "My decision is: I just don’t want to see people hurt… We can come back and do it another time."

Presidential Candidates Visit Chicago AreaPresidential Candidates Visit Chicago Area

The Republican presidential front-runner was scheduled to speak at the arena at 6 p.m., with doors opening at 3 p.m. The first person in line to wait for a spot at the free event arrived at 3 a.m. The arena seats 9,500. 

Chicago Police said Friday night five people were arrested amid the chaos that erupted following the announcement. Additionally, two CPD officers were wounded – both with non life-threatening injuries.

Trump Postpones Chicago Rally for Safety ConcernsTrump Postpones Chicago Rally for Safety ConcernsA Trump rep announces the Republican presidential candidate is postponing his UIC rally. (Published Friday, March 11, 2016)

Trump, who owns Chicago's massive Trump Tower, has been a divisive figure throughout the presidential election cycle. He has called for the construction of a wall between the U.S. and Mexico and for the cessation of Muslim immigration to the country.

Trump leads the Republican field after recently scoring primary victories in Hawaii, Michigan and Mississippi Tuesday. 

Trump's campaign focuses largely on job creation and finances. He declared during his presidential announcement last June that he would be "the greatest jobs president God ever created." 

In the latest Republican debate Thursday, Trump refused to "stoop to being politically correct" and avoid making statements such as "Islam hates the West." He also delcared that he  would "not touch Social Security" and would "leave it the way it is." 

Last month, Trump went after the Ricketts family, who own the Chicago Cubs, in a tweet accusing the family of donating money to campaigns to prevent him from winning the Republican nomination.

“I hear the Rickets [sic] family, who own the Chicago Cubs, are secretly spending [money] against me,” Trump tweeted. “They better be careful, they have a lot to hide!”

Marlene Ricketts, the family’s matriarch, donated $3 million to Our Principles Political Action Committee last month.

Last week, the PAC release two TV ads questioning Trump’s racial sensitivity and business practices.

Trump currently holds 459 pledged delegates. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz holds 360 pledged delegates, while Florida Sen. Marco Rubio holds 152 and Ohio Gov. John Kasich holds 54.

Illinois' Republican presidential primary will be held on March 15.

Get the latest from NBC Chicago anywhere, anytime

  • Download the App

    Available for IOS and Android

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS