NEW YORK (AP) — A small park was built on a site that was once a swamp, and a pond filled with garbage was left empty due to rabies. Donald Trump, the former president, surrendered Tuesday at the market in lower Manhattan.
Hundreds of onlookers, protesters, journalists and a handful of politicians gathered on the border of Pond Park across the street from the criminal courthouse where Trump pleaded guilty to 34 felony counts. In the end, though, hardly anyone saw Trump: he entered and left the forum in view of the demonstrators gathered in the park.
The crowd was small, according to the New York state protests, which claims thousands. And fears that rioting crowds would force the police to shut down the city’s files have proven futile, with security measures within two blocks mostly disappearing.
But inside the park and around the stars there was plenty of chaos.
Metal barricades separated Trump supporters from anti-Trump protesters, and police stepped in to break up small skirmishes. The journalists, some of whom had been standing by turns, waited all night to reserve the coveted seat in the hall, impressed by the characters and figures that appeared.
Almost drowned out by hissing and chanting from anti-Trump protesters, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Georgia Republican, who had come to support Trump. But he drew cheers from the pro-Trump contingent before a fast exit to hit the press around his site.
Also on hand to help Trump was US Rep. George Santos, a beleaguered Republican congressman, is facing multiple investigations into lies about his biography that he told while running for office.
“I’m not here for the cameras,” he insisted to reporters. “I want to support the president, because I think this is unprecedented, and it’s a bad day for democracy.”
The crowds grew in time leading up to the trumpet’s arrival at the market He became the first president or former president in US history to face criminal charges.
But the strength of the crowd dropped as the hours went by Tuesday, and after Trump left, the park began to empty quickly.
New York police had said they were prepared for large-scale protests from Trump supporters, who have politically motivated the former Republican president’s announcement of the former president’s conviction to a New York grand jury and three pending additional investigations and are intent on undermining his bid to win the White House in 2024. .
A few hundred people showed up to support Trump on Tuesday, waving flags and wearing Trump “Make America Great Again” hats.
But security in the neighborhood was lax enough that plenty of passers-by walked through the park just to see what was going on.
One woman walked through what appeared to be a Tai Chi exercise, constantly ignoring the reporters.
At one point, a tour guide led a group of tourists through the area. The guide stopped to take photographs of the scene, then continued. Others lingered behind a large crowd of journalists.
Kyle Heath, 37, from Carmel, Indiana, was in town for a family vacation that had been planned for some time. He walked through the park among groups of journalists, carrying everything on him.
“We wanted to come down and kind of witness what was going on and say we were as close as we could be,” Heath said. “In Indiana, we don’t have this much of a crowd.”
In the late 1700s, Collecta Piscina Park became the site of a small body of water as an open sewer as the city grew. It was filled in the early 1800s, but for decades it belonged to Manhattan’s notorious “Five Points,” a notorious gang war.
Other tensions around the market and park ran high Tuesday as news media flocked to the site. A television network that hired security personnel to push people away. Some reporters began to sit in the courtroom on Monday afternoon, and remained there all night, or others held their place.
A small fire broke out when anti-trumpet protesters held up a large sign that read “TRUMPET ALL THE TIME” in the midst of Trumpet supporters. The police quickly dispersed the scene.
“I think it’s great. I think it’s very symbolic, you know, at least in New York at the DA shows that no one is above the law,” said Gregory Williams, 57, who showed a cutout with the life of Hillary Clinton and her maid. Sign saying “lock him up.”
Paul J. Weber, an associate journalist in Austin, Texas, contributed to this report.
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