Police Separate, Calm Opposing Factions at Fresno Event Where Joe Arpaio Spoke

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer acts as a buffer between protesters for and against the local appearance of former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio on Sept. 29, 2017. (Credit: Brittny Mejia / Los Angeles Times)

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer acts as a buffer between protesters for and against the local appearance of former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio on Sept. 29, 2017. (Credit: Brittny Mejia / Los Angeles Times)

All the elements were in place here Friday evening for violent clashes outside a fundraiser featuring polarizing former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio. But the Fresno Police Department was determined to calm things down and avoid making arrests.

The effort won respect from protesters who could agree on little else.

“We have to be the voice of calm,” said Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer. “And when we do walk into the middle of it, we know at times it’s with risk and that there’s always a potential we’re going to be the ones injured. But it’s well worth it.”

At the heart of the protest was the speech by Arpaio, who was convicted for actions related to alleged racial profiling of Latinos, and then pardoned by President Trump.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.