Dozens of Trump fans spend day outside Georgia jail to show support when he surrendered

by Madison Thomas
surrender of Donald Trump

Numerous supporters of former President Donald Trump congregated outside the Fulton County Jail in Georgia ahead of his arrival to surrender in connection with charges stemming from his attempts to maintain his hold on power following his defeat in the 2020 election. The gathering commenced on Thursday morning, well in advance of Trump’s appearance. Throughout the day, both Trump proponents and critics gathered outside the jail, with a larger presence of Trump supporters braving the sweltering summer climate of Georgia. The media, stationed near the Rice Street entrance of the jail, significantly outnumbered the assembled crowd. The group size progressively expanded as Trump’s booking time drew near.

As news circulated about Trump’s impending arrival, protesters positioned themselves along security barriers outside the entrance, with individuals standing two to three deep in an attempt to secure a clear view. Law enforcement personnel from the Fulton County sheriff’s office blocked one end of the block near the jail’s back entrance with an unoccupied prisoner bus, while the other end of the block on Jefferson Street was obstructed by a county dump truck.

A considerable portion of the crowd sported pro-Trump T-shirts and waved large flags displaying messages facing the street. Among these messages was one boldly proclaiming “TRUMP WON.” Shortly after 6 p.m., U.S. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, a staunch Republican defender of Trump from Georgia, briefly addressed the gathered crowd.

This marked the fourth occasion this year that Trump, an early frontrunner in the 2024 Republican presidential primary, found himself being booked on criminal allegations. Distinct from his previous arrests, which took place in courthouses just before his initial appearances before a judge, this time he was required to voluntarily surrender at a jail known for its issues.

In a departure from prior booking procedures, authorities in Atlanta cleared the roads for Trump’s transit from the airport to the jail, imbuing his arrival with a presidential-like atmosphere despite the decidedly dissimilar purpose.

Moreover, unlike prior instances, officials confirmed the intention to capture a booking photograph of the former president.

Trump and 18 others faced indictment the prior week, accused by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis of participating in an elaborate scheme aimed at subverting the wishes of Georgia voters, who narrowly favored Democrat Joe Biden over the Republican incumbent. Several of the other individuals indicted, including Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, Jenna Ellis, and John Eastman, had already surrendered to the jail earlier in the week.

While Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat had asserted that Trump and others involved would be treated on par with any other individuals, the scene outside the jail on Thursday deviated from the norm.

Among the supporters of the former president was Cliff MacMorris, 66, from Naples, Florida, who brandished a flag bearing the words “Trump Won Save America.” He and his wife, Georgine, spent the night in Atlanta.

Cliff MacMorris expressed, “You don’t have the right to persecute somebody unjustly.”

His wife attributed the indictments against Trump to political motivations, pointing to the four years of what she described as “prosperity, safety, freedom” during Trump’s tenure in the White House.

Sharon Anderson, 67, from eastern Tennessee, made her presence felt outside the jail for a second consecutive day, having spent the night in a car with air conditioning running.

“I’m here to support Donald J. Trump. I want him to see some of the millions that show up at the polls for him,” she asserted.

According to Anderson, the indictments against Trump only solidified her backing for him, arguing that Trump’s questioning of the election results is not a criminal act.

While the majority of the assembled crowd was comprised of Trump supporters, 64-year-old Laurie Arbeiter from New York City stood in contrast, donning a shirt that read “Arrest Trump” and carrying over 50 black-and-white signs, including those with messages like “Convict Trump” and “Trump is a Traitor.” She noted that she had traveled to other locations where Trump had been indicted.

As the temperature approached 90 degrees around midday, sheriff’s deputies donned vests, wiped sweat, and sought refuge in the shade of a tree.

The primary Fulton County Jail, also recognized as the Rice Street Jail, is situated in a historically industrial area in northwest Atlanta undergoing redevelopment for retail and residential purposes. A long, tree-lined driveway leading to a parking area in front of the jail’s imposing façade set it back from the street.

Under normal circumstances, both the public and news media could drive directly to the jail’s entrance, with news cameras capturing arrivals and departures of numerous high-profile individuals booked there. However, in light of the booking of a former president, the driveway off the main street had been inaccessible for days, preventing reporters and cameras from approaching the building.

Security measures heightened further on Thursday. While vehicular access had been allowed on Rice Street the previous day, it was restricted on Thursday. Some deputies donned vests and concealed their faces with black masks, forming a line along the street.

Members of a group identified as “Blacks for Trump” directed racial slurs at Black sheriff’s deputies, although the demonstration remained largely peaceful in its early stages.

Contrary to other detainees who might spend months or even years awaiting indictment or trial within the facility, Trump left the jail a mere 20 minutes after his surrender. The jail faced issues including deteriorating infrastructure and overcrowding, housing 2,618 individuals on Thursday morning, surpassing its maximum capacity of 2,254, according to data from the sheriff’s office.

The U.S. Department of Justice initiated a civil rights investigation into jail conditions in Fulton County the previous month, citing instances of violence, unsanitary conditions, and the death of an individual covered in insects discovered on the premises in the prior year.

Contributions to this report were made by Jeff Amy and Jeff Martin.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about surrender of Donald Trump

What were the circumstances surrounding the gathering outside Fulton County Jail in Georgia?

Dozens of supporters of former President Donald Trump assembled outside the Fulton County Jail in Georgia in advance of his arrival to surrender. Trump was facing charges related to his efforts to retain power after his loss in the 2020 election. The supporters gathered hours before his arrival, with both Trump proponents and critics present.

How did the crowd evolve over the course of the day?

As the day progressed, the crowd outside the jail grew in size. Trump supporters outnumbered his opponents, despite the sweltering summer heat in Georgia. Media presence was significant, with media outlets stationed near the jail’s entrance. The gathering gained momentum as the time for Trump’s booking approached.

What was the atmosphere like as news spread of Trump’s arrival?

When news circulated that Trump was on his way to the jail, demonstrators lined up along security barricades outside the entrance. People stood two to three deep, hoping to catch a glimpse. Law enforcement personnel placed barriers and vehicles to control access to the jail’s surroundings.

Who addressed the crowd outside the jail?

U.S. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, a staunch defender of Trump from Georgia, briefly spoke to the crowd. She addressed the gathered supporters amidst the growing anticipation of Trump’s arrival at the jail.

How did this surrender differ from Trump’s previous arrests?

Unlike previous instances, where Trump was booked in courthouses before initial appearances, this time he voluntarily surrendered at a jail. This was his fourth booking on criminal charges this year. Additionally, officials cleared roads for Trump’s journey to the jail, creating a presidential-like arrival, despite the distinct purpose.

What were the charges against Trump and others?

Trump, along with 18 others, faced indictment on charges related to a scheme allegedly aimed at undermining the will of Georgia voters, who had chosen Joe Biden over Trump in the 2020 election. The charges were brought by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.

How did Trump’s supporters view the indictments against him?

Supporters of Trump viewed the indictments as politically motivated, attributing them to concerns about Trump’s accomplishments during his presidency. Many believed that the charges were a response to his questioning of the election results, which they argued was not a criminal act.

How did the jail conditions and security arrangements stand out?

The Fulton County Jail, known as the Rice Street Jail, stood in an industrial part of Atlanta. The facility faced issues such as overcrowding and crumbling infrastructure. On this day, security measures were heightened, with vehicular access restricted and increased law enforcement presence. The U.S. Department of Justice had initiated a civil rights investigation into the jail’s conditions the previous month.

What was the situation regarding media coverage?

While the public and media were typically allowed to approach the jail’s entrance, Trump’s booking prompted stricter security measures. The driveway leading to the jail was closed off for days, preventing reporters and cameras from getting close to the building.

How did the supporters and opponents express their viewpoints?

Supporters of Trump showcased their backing by wearing pro-Trump T-shirts, waving flags, and expressing unwavering support for the former president. On the other hand, opponents, like Laurie Arbeiter, displayed messages of dissent through signs and attire.

What was the response to the demonstration from law enforcement?

The demonstration remained mostly peaceful, but members of the “Blacks for Trump” group directed racial slurs at Black sheriff’s deputies. Despite this, the scene was relatively calm.

How did the day conclude for Trump at the jail?

In contrast to other detainees who often spend an extended time at the jail, Trump left just 20 minutes after surrendering. The facility faced overcrowding issues and inadequate infrastructure. The U.S. Department of Justice had previously initiated a civil rights investigation into jail conditions.

What contributions were made to this report?

The report was contributed to by Jeff Amy and Jeff Martin.

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PoliticEnthu August 25, 2023 - 3:26 am

ppls opinions so divided, its a mess out there

CarFanatic August 25, 2023 - 7:04 am

who cares abt politics, jail’s a mess though, sad

RealDeel August 25, 2023 - 8:14 am

media all over the place, tht jail mustve been buzzin

Jenny123 August 25, 2023 - 4:18 pm

trump supporters rly showd up huh, wonderin’ if this’ll make a dif

GeorgiaPeach August 25, 2023 - 6:24 pm

hot day, hotter politics, thts georgia for ya

CryptoLover22 August 25, 2023 - 11:07 pm

trump, charges, jail – all big news, wow


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