Every mention of Clinton provoked cheers from her supporters, with rounds of boos raining down from Sanders supporters.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
The jeers and chants of “Bernie” frequently outlasted and overwhelmed cheers for Clinton inside the arena.
 
Factions of Sanders supporters brought signs with their candidate’s name on it and pointed their thumbs down, chanting “Bernie” at every mention of Clinton.
 
It was a divisive start to a convention where Democrats had hoped to achieve unity.
 
 
Fudge urged the crowd to stay in line as the cheers and jeers threatened to overcome her opening speech.
 
“We’re Democrats, and we need to act like it,” Fudge said.
 
“I will be respectful of you, and I want you to be respectful of me,” she added.
 
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), a top Democrat in the House who is widely respected, struggled to speak over chants that broke out in protest of the Obama administration’s international trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Convention-goers chanted and held signs with a red line through “TPP” as Cummings sought to speak about the Black Lives Matter movement.

As the rowdy convention unfolded, NBC News obtained an emailed plea from Sanders asking his supporters not to boo or be disruptive.

It was clear from the start that the proceedings would be contentious as the crowd interrupted the opening invocation.
 
The Rev. Cynthia Hale led the opening prayer shortly after the convention was gaveled into order.
 
“We have a responsibility to you to be a party that celebrates diversity, values all people and treats everyone with dignity and respect,” Hale said. “We have a platform that seeks to address the ills of our nation, right the wrongs and help us be a just and equitable society … by nominating Hillary Rodham Clinton.”
 
Much of the crowd cheered loudly, but jeering was audible. As the cheers subsided, a large contingent chanted “Bernie,” forcing Hale to pause her invocation for about 15 seconds.
 
Later, former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb sought to unite the crowd, comparing the candidates to basketball stars LeBron James and Steph Curry shaking hands after the NBA Finals.
 
“They both deserve our cheers,” Webb repeated three times.
 
The crowd erupted when Webb told them to cheer equally for both candidates.
 
This story was updated at 5:52 p.m.