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Ambulance blocked during travel ban protest

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Posted at 4:16 PM, Feb 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-06 17:16:29-05

A group of several hundred protesters got in the way of motorists, including an ambulance carrying a critically-ill patient, Saturday afternoon near New Haven, Connecticut, the Connecticut State Police said. 

The group was protesting against the travel ban President Donald Trump tried to implement 10 days ago via executive order. The group was also protesting against a proposed border wall along the United States/Mexico border. 

Demonstrators blocked parts of Route 34 Saturday afternoon as 100 to 200 protesters caused the highway to be closed for 20 minutes. 

Police deployed tear gas and tried to clear the highway, but it forced EMTs to perform an "emergency medical procedure." 

Among those arrested was Norman Clement, 66, who police identified as the leader of the protest. He was charged with inciting a riot, disorderly conduct, interfering with an officer and reckless use of the highway by a pedestrian. Clement posted a $5,000 bond as he awaits trial. 

Clement's attorney claims that the police were responsible for the ambulance being stuck. According to the Hartford Courant, protesters had told police to inform them if there was an emergency. 

"I asked Norm, had anyone informed the group there was an emergency and had they failed to move aside?" attorney Patricia Kane told the Courant. "He said nobody had said anything to them, and he repeated that if there was an emergency they would step aside. They never even warned protesters to get out of the road. State police were very hostile from the get-go. There was a dog who was very vicious. It reminded me of Birmingham, Alabama, in the days of civil rights."

The police said that blocking roadways are illegal and they will strictly enforce the law. 

Justin Boggs is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @jjboggs or on Facebook.