Tensions at Dayton Crime Scene as Trump Supporters Express Anger with Mayor for Encouraging Protests


DAYTON, Ohio — The temperature climbed to near 90 degrees on 5th Street in the Oregon District as hundreds of people lined the street, waiting for President Donald Trump to drive through the crime scene of Dayton’s Sunday morning mass shooting. Trump never came, but supporters, protesters, media and residents created a tense mix that almost boiled over.

Dayton’s finest tried to keep the calm as protesters yelled “Do something” at Trump supporters while supporters yelled pro-Trump slogans back. One middle-aged white woman tried to take a Trump flag from Jim Stevens, then repeatedly put her anti-Trump sign in Stevens’ face while one of the dozens of news shows attempted to interview him and his friend.

A police officer approached Stevens and asked him to move on down the street, telling him area businesses had complained.

“Why do I have to move and they don’t?” Stevens asked about the protesters. Stevens spoke with the media as he followed orders and walked away.

“A Democratic city, a Democratic Mayor, she has her law enforcement come out and tell me to leave. Said she can’t do nothing, but she asks me to leave. She hasn’t asked any of them other people to leave,” he told the reporters. “I was asked to walk away, but she [the officer] said those people protesting Trump would follow me.” They didn’t.

When asked why he had showed up, Stevens replied, “I just came here to support Trump. It’s terrible what happened here but that has nothing to do with our President.”

One bystander chimed in, “He [the shooter] was Antifa.”

Stevens eventually returned to his spot, eagerly awaiting President Trump’s arrival.

A little while later, an African-American woman approached Stevens. Michal Stephens, no relation to Jim, shared his strong support of Donald Trump. An Independent, Stephens spoke to reporters who had surrounded Jim again.

“They want socialism. They want everything free,” Stephens told a news reporter. “They got one voice and it’s extreme Left. You people keep voting for Donald Trump!”

Several other Trump fans surrounded her, including a young African American man with a shirt that said, “Only You Can Prevent Socialism” with Smokey the Bear wearing a “MAGA” hat.

Trump fans were unwilling to be shut down, and were relatively upbeat. Protesters were angry. One man with a megaphone began shouting, “Do Something” — a chant the protesters repeated often.

Three Trump supporters, Brian and Linda Hill and their friend Jen Miller, watched from the sidelines for awhile.

“I’m personally very upset our Mayor encouraged protesters today,” Linda told The Ohio Star. “Its time for healing. I think it [the encouragement of protesters] could lead to more violence.”

“It’s not the president’s fault,” Jen Miller said. “He can’t do everything.”

Eventually the three joined up with Stephens. The four chatted until a car drove by and a protester yelled, “Down with Trump!”

Stephens didn’t miss a beat. She yelled back, “No, down with you!”

Once word passed that the president would not be driving through, well wishers and angry protesters alike began to slowly disperse and tensions finally began to dissolve.

However, the tension between President Trump and his Democratic detractors is still going strong.

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Beth Lear is a reporter at The Ohio Star.  Follow Beth on Twitter.  Email tips to [email protected].







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