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Mayor James defends KCPD’s use of pepper spray outside Donald Trump rally

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- KC Mayor Sly James supports the city's police department's decision to pepper spray protesters. Officers sprayed dozens of protesters outside of the Donald Trump rally at the Midland Theatre on Saturday night.

Police say the pepper spray was used to break up what was about to be a fight between 200 people. On Monday Mayor James credited the officers for stopping what could have been a riot.

“Somebody punched the horse, somebody threw a bottle into the crowd… not a plastic bottle, a glass bottle. And they were warned if they did not get back on the sidewalk they would get pepper sprayed and that warning took place on more than one occasion,” Mayor James told FOX 4’s Molly Balkenbush.

The police department released surveillance video that shows protesters pushing into the street and surrounding cars outside of the Midland Theatre.

“At one point in time there was a vehicle there that was totally engulfed, they started to almost overrun the police officers,” Mayor James said.

He says the pepper spray was warranted, and may have prevented a much more violent situation between supporters and protesters.

“Using the pepper spray certainly not something that's pleasant, but certainly something that stopped perhaps the whole thing getting totally out of hand, and something more injurious and damaging occurring,” Mayor James said.

The mayor says talk shouldn't lead to violence, and he's happy police stepped in before anything got out of control.

“I am very comfortable with what the police did. I believe in how they are trained, I have faith in them and I have faith in Police Chief Darryl Forte,” Mayor James said.

On Wednesday, police are scheduled to meet with the city's Public Safety Committee. There will be a discussion about how police dealt with those supporters and protesters over the weekend.

Four people were charged with disorderly conduct:

Kendrick Washington, Megan Gallant, Shane Stange and Alexander Fisher were all taken into custody during the rally.

An attorney for Gallant tells FOX 4 his client was not participating in the rally or the protest. Rick Johnson claims his client was misidentified by police and was arrested after a protester allegedly threw a bottle.