Armed Trump Supporters Confront American Indian Arizona Lawmakers at State Capitol

Arizona state Representative Wenona Benally

Published January 29, 2018

Second Most Read Story in Native News Online in 2018

PHOENIX — On Thursday, January 25, 2018, several armed Trump supporters, carrying Trump flags, surrounded Arizona state Representative Pamela Hannley and yelled at her about her “protecting illegals” near the state Capitol in Phoenix. Close by, on their way to lunch, were Representative Eric Descheenie (D-Chinle) and Representative Wenona Benally (D-Window Rock). Both are Navajo.

Representative Benally recounts the event for Native News Online:

Arizona state Representative Erci Descheenie

“Rep. Descheenie stepped in between them and Rep. Hannley, in order to protect her from them. As soon as he did so, it drew the attention of the rest of the Trump protesters. The rest of the Trump protestors quickly walked over to us, surrounding us and aggressively yelling at us about our support for ‘illegals.’

I quickly walked back into the House of Representatives building to call for a security escort. A security guard came out of the building and proceeded to escort us to the farmer’s market next to the building. The Trump protestors followed behind the security guard and continued to yell at us, until the security guard blocked their entrance into the farmer’s market. They finally left us alone and headed back to the front of the building. Once we were done making our purchases at the farmer’s market, we had to re-enter the back of the building for our safety.

It was during the time that I left to find a security guard that one of the Trump protestors yelled at Rep. Descheenie to get out the country because he was here illegally. “

Benally says the Trump supporters were at the Capitol on Thursday intimidating and verbally assaulting, not only dark-skinned lawmakers and staffers, but young school children who were there to meet with their legislative representatives.

“There was absolutely no need for them to be armed. It was a very intimidating and frightening situation to have a group of armed protestors aggressively following us and screaming at us,” said Benally.

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