Crowds in support and against Trump make their voices heard as president comes to LI

Fios New 1 Long Island by Cecilia Dowd

July 28, 2017, 5:52 pm

President addressed the issue of gang violence on the Island

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BRENTWOOD — Hundreds of people showed up to both oppose and support President Donald Trump when he visited Long Island on Friday to talk about the Island’s gang problem. The mother of one of two slain girls, her murder believed to be connected to the MS-13 gang, also showed up to hear the president speak.

“It was a great feeling to see the president up close,” said Evelyn Rodriguez, whose daughter Kayla Cuevas was murdered. Her death believed to be the work of MS-13, the violent gang that brought the president to Suffolk County.

“I like what he said in regards of bringing resources into our community,” Rodriguez continued.

Outside of Suffolk Community College, where the president spoke, there were also hundreds of protestors.

“He’s using this to push forward his agenda. He’s capitalizing on gang violence and he’s not coming here to make lives better for anyone. He’s coming here to encourage the police to carry out the ethnic cleansing that he wants,” said Eva Sahana of refuse

“I’m here because we’ve noticed a lot of hate that’s been going around in the community and in the country as a whole ever since Donald Trump has gotten elected, and we wanted to come out and show our support for each other as minorities and just as citizens,” said Maria Shaikh of Central Islip.

There was a dividing line between those who were there protesting the president’s visit and then over the other side there were those who were supporting President Trump.

There were many more people protesting the president than supporters, but supporters made their voices heard. At time, things also got rowdy

Kenneth Lane was escorted by police back to the side of the president’s supporters. He is one of them.

“This is all anti-Americanism right here. They are the traitors. There’s nothing wrong. We voted in Donald Trump the right way through the electorate,” Lane said.

“This MS-13 problem that we’re having and the heroin epidemic is really done a number on our children and I’m hoping that he can do something ‘cause obviously the local police can’t handle what’s going on. MS-13 is out of control,” said Peter Pekrul of Holbrook who came to support the president and brought a cutout of President Trump with him.

While the protests did get rowdy at times, there was much yelling and no violence. Law enforcement officials say there were no arrests made.