ATLANTA — Police arrested several people as anti-Donald Trump demonstrators protested the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s appearance in midtown Atlanta Wednesday.
Trump hit a chord with his supporters, talking tough on Second Amendment rights and national security during his speech at the Fox Theatre.
His critics, though, say it's his stances like banning Muslims from entering the U.S. that will turn off moderate Republicans and Independents.
“The laughter as this man was shooting incredible people, you say to yourself how can this be happening in the United States of America?” Trump said, addressing the Orlando massacre during his more that one-hour speech.
He also reaffirmed his stance to close U.S. borders to Muslims.
“We have to stop, on a temporary basis at least, we have to stop people from pouring into our country. We have to stop it until we find out what the hell is going on,” Trump said.
In true Trump style, he said it's time to stop all the political correctness and called for law enforcement agencies to start investigating mosques, respectfully.
It's that type of national security stance that hits home for many Trump supporters.
“He says a lot of things that people think, so I think a lot of people support him based on that,” said Trump supporter Michael Harris.
Those types of policies, though, also provoke protestors. Several of them interrupted Trump's speech while yelling profanities.
Meanwhile outside, the Democratic Party of Georgia held its own news conference, saying Trump's divisiveness will turn Georgia into a battleground state.
“Georgia is in play and it's because people are getting to know the real Donald Trump and they know Democrats are coming together and Hillary will be the next president,” said Georgia Democrats Chairman DuBose Porter.
Trump thanked Georgia Republicans for the turnout March 1, when he won 155 of the 159 counties in the state’s primary election.
He says he just looked at recent polling here and expects to win.
Protesters arrested during rally
Several protesters who were outside the Fox Theatre were arrested Wednesday, but rain helped cool down the tension.
Those tensions were high right before a driving rainstorm rolled over Peachtree Street, with police arresting four anti-Trump demonstrators.
Officers arrested two men and as they were putting flexi-cuffs on them, another scuffle broke out on the sidewalk as police took a fourth man into custody -- even as demonstrators pleaded for calm on both sides.
Channel 2 Action News’ camera captured the moment that Tyree Page was taken to the ground by Atlanta police. His attorney, Gerald Griggs, told Channel 2’s Tyisha Fernandes he wasn’t expecting the arrest.
“I thought he was going there to exercise his First Amendment right and opposition to Mr. Trump and the unnecessary rhetoric that he's been spewing for the last year and a half,” Griggs said.
Page and four others were arrested Wednesday afternoon. Griggs believes the charges against his clients will eventually be dropped.
“It's the bottom of the barrel, it’s yelling something that the police don't like and they arrest you. It’s maybe not moving when they tell you to move, or it’s just basically disruptive,” Griggs said.
Griggs said someone else at the rally should have been arrested besides his client.
“I honestly believe that if some of the prosecutors would take a hard look at what Mr. Trump is saying, he should be charged. I mean you cannot say, ‘Beat somebody up, throw ‘em out of here, I'll pay your legal fees,’ and that's inciting, especially in Georgia,” Griggs said.
There were a few other minor confrontations between Trump supporters and protesters -- mostly raised voices and angry arguments.
But the demonstration went on peacefully.
“I can't vote yet, but I feel like just the word needs to be spread,” said protester Carolyn Casadont.
“I want people in there to know that the road they're headed down can end in a holocaust,” said protester Khalid Kamau.
But then the group decided to take their protest out into Peachtree Street, and nearly 200 demonstrators decided to follow.
They marched up and down Peachtree, blocking traffic for nearly half an hour.
Atlanta Police Department’s riot squad was standing by but wasn't needed as officers were able to guide the protesters back to the curb.
But that's when the arrests started happening.
Then as Trump supporters left the Fox, the rain hit. The driving rain seemed to take the steam out of both sides. The demonstration broke up after that.
Police say those who were arrested will probably face disorderly conduct charges.
Cox Media Group