Donald Trump

Thousands of Protesters Gather Outside Trump Tower

The protesters began gathering ahead of the president's planned fundraiser at Trump Tower in Chicago

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Thousands of protesters gathered outside Chicago's Trump Tower Monday amid the president's first visit to the city since his inauguration.

The groups chanted things like "Trump, Pence out now" while holding signs calling for the president's impeachment. Officers at the scene estimated as many as 3,000 protesters were present. 

Some at the gathering expressed support for Trump by holding signs that read "Trump 2020." 

“I don’t like everything that he does but he is our president and we need to support him. I have every right to be here," said Joe Loris of Berwyn. "Trump may not be welcome here but I’m here to welcome him." 

As of 1 p.m. Monday, Chicago police said four people were taken into custody near the scene of the protests for allegations of battery. 

In the 0-100 block of East Wacker Drive, two women, ages 19 and 21, were taken into custody after a 60-year-old man said two people approached him from behind, removed a hat from his head, threw down the poster he was holding and pushed him to the ground. 

In a seperate incident at the same location, police said a 66-year-old man and a 68-year-old woman were taken into custody after a 60-year-old woman reported two people hit her on the head repeatedly with their cardboard signs. 

Police said in both cases charges were pending.  

Trump was scheduled to attend a fundraiser at his hotel Monday afternoon following his speech at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference at McCormick Place, where he criticized the city's violence and Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson, who was not in attendance. 

"In fact, more than anyone else, this person should be here because maybe he could learn something," Trump said Monday, reading back part of Johnson's statement on values.

Johnson, who is hosting the conference, previously said he would not attend Trump's speech because he thought the "values of the people of Chicago are more important" than what Trump would say.

In a press conference later Monday, Johnson responded to Trump's remarks by saying the "national narrative that Chicago is a city on fire is just simply not true." 

"Facts matter," he said, touting three years straight of "double digit reduction" in crime and noting that there are "17 neighborhoods in this city that are safer than Manhattan and LA." 

"This president is known for doing a lot of talking about the city of Chicago, but if he's truly ready to roll up his sleeves to partner with us, so are we, as long as that partnership reflects who we are as Chicagoans," Johnson said.

Trump’s visit to Chicago is his first since March 2016, when protests canceled a scheduled rally at the then-UIC Pavilion at the University of Illinois-Chicago. Campaign organizers told those planning to attend the rally for then-candidate Trump that after consulting with law enforcement, the decision was made to postpone the event.

Several groups had planned protests in Chicago's Loop on Monday. 

The Chicago Police Department said it placed safety barriers along the Chicago River as part of a wide-ranging “rolling security plan.” Various security and safety measures are being implemented by the department, and residents have been told to expect significant traffic impacts, rolling street closures, and the potential for large crowd gatherings throughout the president’s visit.

Up to 1,800 extra police officers will be available if needed, according to the Chicago Tribune.

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