Berkeley city officials respond to weekend violence at Trump protest

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- Berkeley city officials are responding to criticism police didn't do enough to prevent violence at Saturday's protest.

There were head wounds and people pepper sprayed at violent protests Saturday as opposing political groups clashed in Berkeley. Berkeley police made 10 arrests, though some question whether police could have intervened sooner or differently to prevent injuries.

RELATED: Pro-Trump, anti-Trump protesters clash in Berkeley

"I think our police did the best they could under very difficult circumstances. If they went in more aggressively, it could have provoked an even more violent response," said Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin.

Protesters didn't have a permit but they did have plenty of weapons, including two-by-fours with nails in it, baseball bats and knives.

"This is not going to be the last time we're going to see large protests or social unrest in our community and I think we're learning," said Arreguin.

PHOTOS: Both sides of Trump debate clash

Benjamin Lynch is calling for charges to be dropped against anti-President Trump protesters who he says did not instigate the violence. "We were there to defend ourselves, our movement and the whole city from this kind of racist violence," he said.

Charges for those arrested on both sides of the political aisle range from battery to assault with a deadly weapon.

Click here for continuing coverage on President Trump.
Copyright © 2021 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.