Trump’s Phoenix rally attracts thousands of protesters

Thousands from across Arizona flocked to Downtown Phoenix to protest President Donald Trump’s rally on Tuesday evening, carrying protest essentials — signs, megaphones and water bottles to stay hydrated in the 107-degree weather.

The protests come more than a week after demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia, where clashes between white supremacists and counter-protestors turned violent and resulted in one death. Trump drew widespread condemnation for his response to the clashes, in which he blamed “both sides” for the violence.

“Trump saying people on both sides are to blame was the last straw,” Eva Spivey, 25, of Avondale, Arizona, told CNN. “Racism is a one-sided thing.”

While there were some tense back-and-forth moments between protest groups and Trump supporters, a handful of cops acted as a physical barrier.

On the Phoenix Convention Center side of Monroe Street, Trump rally attendees were being ushered into the venue in lines. On the other side of the street, anti-Trump protesters had put up an inflatable Trump — in a white robe with a Nazi symbol — as well as a giant sign that read “white supremacy will not be pardoned.”

Anti-Trump protesters yelled out chants including “Shame” and “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA.”

Anna Ruiz, a teacher in the Phoenix Union High School District, said she marched for her undocumented students who were “too afraid.”

“It makes me sad to have to be out here,” she told CNN, while tearing up. “Everybody who lives in this country has rights.”

“I’m here because I’m also gay,” she added. “I’m here because I’m a woman. I’m here because I’m a Democrat. I’m here because I’m a woman. I’m a veteran. I’m a fifth generation Arizonan. I don’t like what’s happened to my state or my country. I’m so ashamed.”

Barry Smith, a Phoenix native, carried a sign that read “Old white men against bigotry.”

“After the election I felt so bad, they look at an old guy like me and think I voted for him,” Smith told CNN. “It’s embarrassing. Everything about him repulses me, and the fact that people are still coming to support him after the racism that’s so blatant. There’s nothing in the new message but people are starting to get the message.”

Some had simpler reasons for showing up.

“Somebody had to,” Noni Nez, from Mesa, Arizona, told CNN.

Trump’s rally is scheduled for 7 p.m. local time.

3 in custody after shootout in Miami Burger King parking lot, police say


 Three people are in custody after a shootout Tuesday afternoon in the parking lot of a Burger King in Miami.

Miami-Dade police said Daniel Rodriguez and Enrique Santana walked into the fast-food restaurant at 11595 Southwest 40th Street and began acting disorderly and being disrespectful to the staff.

The Miami-Dade Police Department said as Daniel Rodriguez and Santana walked out of Burger King, they made disrespectful comments to Jorge Rodriguez, who was standing outside.

The duo got into their vehicle and pulled out a gun, and Jorge Rodriguez responded by getting a gun from his vehicle, police said.

The Police Department said as Daniel Rodriguez and Santana circled the parking lot, shots were fired.

Police said Jorge Rodriguez was taken to Kendall Regional Medical Center to be treated for a small laceration on his back. He was treated and released.

Miami-Dade police Detective Argemis Colome said all three men are in custody.


It’s unclear what led to the dispute. 


Man identified in connection with armed robbery at Miami gas station

A 30-year-old man was identified Tuesday in connection with an armed robbery early this month at a gas station in Miami.

The robbery was reported about 9:15 p.m. Aug. 2 at the Valero gas station at 2200 SW 27th Ave.

Miami police said Darshiel Pratt approached the counter, pointed a handgun at the clerk and demanded all of the money from inside the cash register.

Police said the clerk, who was in fear for her life, complied with Pratt’s demands and handed him all of the money in the register.

Pratt grabbed the cash and fled south on Southwest 27th Avenue, authorities said.

Authorities said the victim identified Pratt in a six-photo lineup.

Pratt faces an armed robbery charge, once he’s caught.

Miami police originally said in a news release that Pratt was arrested. A spokesperson later called to correct that report, saying investigators identified the suspect; they did not arrest him.

Hundreds brave Phoenix heat to line up early for Trump rally

One-hundred-degree Arizona weather didn’t faze supporters of President Donald Trump on Tuesday as they lined up as early as 8 a.m. local time outside the Phoenix Convention Center ahead of his rally.

“I think it’s important that he knows that he is supported even though a lot of people say, ‘He is not my president,'” Beth Gadzick, who was standing in line holding a Trump flag, told CNN. “I’m sorry but he IS your president, and I think it’s important to be united as one country.”

Gadzick was among the hundreds who lined up to make sure they had a good view at the rally, which takes place a day after Trump’s primetime speech outlining his Afghanistan strategy. Temperatures hit triple digits in the late morning; thousands are expected to descend downtown for the evening event.

The Trump rally also comes as Arizona’s two Republican senators — John McCain and Jeff Flake — have been outspoken critics of Trump. Flake recently wrote a book in which he compared Trump’s campaign to a “late-night infomercial.”

“Flake is another one like McCain, he’s turned into a RINO,” Gadzick said, an acronym of the expression “Republican in name only.” “I’m like, he’s your president, you’re a Republican, you should support him.”

Early in the afternoon, those who waited in line were relatively low-key; many were just trying to stay cool and chatting with one another.

Some in line speculated Trump would pardon Joe Arpaio, the controversial former Maricopa County sheriff who was convicted of contempt by a federal judge last month.

“I think he should,” said 20-year-old Nick Hughes, from Litchfield Park, Arizona. Hughes was sporting a giant American flag as a cape. Hughes said he wanted to attend the rally “to show my support with all the protests going on and all this negativity.”

When asked on Air Force One on the way to Arizona, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said no news would be made Tuesday on a would-be Arpaio pardon.

Other rally attendees wondered whether Trump would officially endorse Flake’s opponent Dr. Kelli Ward, whom the President recently tweeted about. Dozens of people held Ward signs or sported pro-Ward stickers as they stood in line.

At the front of the line, members of the Arizona GOP set up a table to encourage voter registration. Cinthia Love, of Scottsdale, Arizona, was among the volunteers helping sign people up.

“It’s time for us to unite for the betterment of this country,” Love, who was sporting bedazzled American flag gear and a necklace of an American Eagle, told CNN.

Love said she hopes Trump does pardon Arpaio, who she said she believes he has “done a lot for this state.” She also hopes Trump touches on health care and immigration during his speech.

Sisters Amricela Godinez, 25, and Ana Rose, 36, who are Mexican-American, came because they said they “support the President no matter what.”

“I don’t think he’s racist,” Rose said. “I think a lot of people that follow him may be, but I also think a lot of people that follow him are not.”

As far as immigration goes, Rose said she thinks illegal immigration “is a problem for every country,” including the US.

“You can’t not have rules,” she said. “Trump is our president, whether people like it or not. We support him because we support our country.”

Nearby the convention center, a handful of vendors had set up shop, selling gear ranging from “I came to kick ass and covfefe” shirts to “hot chicks for Trump” buttons.

“I knew it was going to be crazy,” My Campaign Wear employee Codi Herrera, of Mesa, Arizona, told CNN. “We’ve been following Trump since he announced his candidacy. It’s our busiest time.”

Some businesses and schools closed early in anticipation of the rally and counter protests.

As supporters waited for the convention doors to open at 4 p.m. local time, others in Phoenix geared up to protest.

Almost a dozen protests — organized by a handful of various progressives and anti-bigotry groups — were scheduled for the afternoon.

Democrats in Arizona, including Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, are criticizing Trump for even visiting the state — particularly for a campaign-style rally, following the violence at the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend. The protest led to the death of counterprotester Heather Heyer, and two police officers were killed in a helicopter crash monitoring the protests.

One organization, called Indivisible Surprise, planned a “Purple for Heather” rally. Another organization, Puente Human Rights Movement, is holding a “White Supremacy Will Not Be Pardoned” rally.

The Trump rally kicks off at 7 p.m. local time, 10 p.m. ET.

Former state Sen. Greg Evers killed in car crash

A former Florida state senator was involved in a fatal crash near his home.

Greg Evers, who was in the State Legislature for 16 years, died Monday night in a single-car accident near his home in Baker.

A representative of the Evers family confirmed his death Tuesday.

“My wife Ann and I are heartbroken after learning of the passing of Senator Greg Evers,” Gov. Rick Scott said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Lori, and their entire family during this terribly difficult time.

“A dedicated public servant, Senator Evers truly loved Florida and devoted his life to serving his community — not only on his family farm, but during 15 years representing the people of North Florida in the state House and Senate. He will be remembered and missed by all who knew him as the kind, hardworking farmer from Milton who tirelessly fought for Florida families.”

The 62-year-old Evers served in the Florida House of Representatives from 2001 to 2010 and then was in the Florida Senate from 2011 to 2016. During his time in the Senate, he was part of many of the gun legislation bills, including revisions to “Stand Your Ground.”

Evers ran for the open 1st Congressional District seat last year but was defeated in the Republican primary.

He gained national notoriety for giving away a “Homeland Defender” AR-15 rifle to people who liked his candidate page on social media.

3 in custody after shootout in Burger King parking lot, police say


Three people are in custody after a shootout Tuesday afternoon in the parking lot of a Burger King in southwest Miami-Dade County.

Miami-Dade police Detective Argemis Colome said Daniel Rodriguez and Enrique Santana walked into the fast-food restaurant at 11595 SW 40th St. and began acting disorderly and being disrespectful to the staff.

A man, who asked not to be identified, said the men were angry about their order.

“The menu being messed up, or, like, their order being messed up,” he told Local 10 News.

Colome said as Rodriguez and Santana walked out of the Burger King, they made disrespectful comments to Jorge Rodriguez, who was standing outside.

Daniel Rodriguez and Santana got into their car and pulled a gun on Jorge Rodriguez, who also got a gun from his car, Colome said.

As Daniel Rodriguez and Santana circled the parking lot, shots were fired, Colome said.

Jorge Rodriguez was taken to Kendall Regional Medical Center to be treated for a small laceration on his back. He was treated and released.

Colome said all three men were taken into custody.



Cuban graffiti artist Yulier Perez jailed for mural in Centro Havana

Cuban graffiti artist Yulier Perez was arrested and in jail for 36 hours this week after he started working on a mural in Centro Havana.

Perez said he was arrested at an abandoned building in San Lazaro for defacing public property.

Perez’s art is known for its whimsical style and dream-like figures, and you’ll find them in many places around Havana.

“The most important thing for an individual is art, your thoughts and the love you can have for your country and your identity,” Perez told Local 10 News.

Perez said he’ll accept whatever consequences in order to defend his way of thinking and his work.

He said he was forced to sign an acknowledgement of the charge and promise to remove hundreds of his murals in several days — a demand he says is physically impossible.

Perez said he was also told that he’s being investigated for being part of the counterintelligence.

Despite it all, he remains defiant and said he will not erase his art.

“I strongly believe that art around the city, especially in destroyed public spaces, is needed, because it creates discussion and reveals a social conscience,” Perez said.


59-year-old woman found dead on side of road in northwest Miami-Dade

Miami-Dade police are investigating after a woman was found dead Sunday on the side of a road in northwest Miami-Dade.

Police said the body of Nelsy Falla De Ramirez, 59, was found at 6:46 a.m. by the roadside near Northwest 152nd Street and Sixth Avenue.

“We know that she went out with a gentleman and met up with another gentleman that she was potentially dating, and something went wrong,” Falla De Ramirez’s former daughter-in-law, Maria Rios, said. “Either they tried to rob her or something happened. We don’t know exactly what happened, but they found her body away from the vehicle.”

The cause of death has not been released.

Falla De Ramirez, who was originally from Colombia, is survived by her sons and grandchildren.

Relatives said she was a church-going woman who lived for her family.

“She loved to be with everybody. She was a good person, a genuine person — never caused anybody any harm,” Rios said. 

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 305-471-2400. Anonymous tips can be made by calling Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. A reward of up to $3,000 is offered for information that leads to an arrest.