Lawsuit Filed Over Controversial Mass Arrests of Phoenix Protesters

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Lawsuit Filed Over Controversial Mass Arrests of Phoenix Protesters

^ I Support Local Community Journalism Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of the New Times clear. A group of people arrested during protests against police brutality in downtown Phoenix last summer filed a class action lawsuit in federal court alleging they were wrongly mass-arrested in downtown Phoenix for no probable cause Protest the recent murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer and other cases of police brutality. They were received with overwhelming and brutal violence by the Phoenix police. Officials shot demonstrators with rubber bullets and other ammunition, “chased them down” and, according to the report, arrested 124 people for criminal unrest. Police officers allegedly used the same probable cause explanation to justify all arrests, but all cases were dismissed by judges during the initial hearings with orders for resolution, followed by massive, indiscriminate use of tear gas, pepper spray, pepper balls, rubberized balls and bean bags “, According to the complaint, “That night, police rounded up and arrested 124 people just for being in downtown Phoenix.” Many of these people have been detained for hours in poorly / unventilated transport vehicles with no access to water or toilets. “The lawsuit filed this morning against the City of Phoenix, Police Chief Jeri Williams and two department officials alleges excessive violence against the city and police by acting on the rights of protesters under the First Amendment through retaliation. and initiating “malicious” arrests and criminal proceedings in violation of the Fourth Amendment. A number of allegations are also made against the city, including defamation, invasion of privacy, and commission a “civil conspiracy” and gross negligence. The 124 people arrested that night “make class” for the lawsuit. “They only snatched people who either participated in Amendment I activities that they disliked , or just after 11pm or 12pm in the inner st adt from Phoenix. ”Steve Benedetto, an attorney for the People’s Law Firm and one of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs on the case, told the Phoenix New Times. “The problem is, they arrested people for no likely reason. The reason the probable cause statement was copied and pasted was because they had no probable cause. ”“ The judges at those dismissal hearings were completely unprecedented, ”he added. “I’ve never seen anything like it.” Sergeant Mercedes Fortune, a spokesman for the Phoenix Police Department, referred the Phoenix New Times to the City of Phoenix for comment. Dan Wilson, a spokesman for City Manager Ed Zuercher, did not return a message. Máxima Guerrero, a local activist and one of the plaintiffs in the case, was among 124 people arrested by Phoenix police. Guerrero, who has legal status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, was placed on deportation after being detained but was released after an outcry in the community. “The incident put the risk to anyone who has come out a long time here in Phoenix to exercise their First Amendment rights,” Guerrero said at a news conference today. “It has further exposed how these agencies work together, how they violate our human and civil rights, and how willing they are to attack our communities.” We deserve to live and we deserve to speak out about how the police are not protecting us and how the police must be abolished without being attacked by the same system that we are protesting, “said Mimi Arrayaa, Co -Director of Black Lives Matter Phoenix Metro, at the press conference, “I went there last summer … I was hunted like an animal in the streets and pepperballs were pelted by police officers for saying my black life is important.” The complaint also includes a picture of the Probable Cause Statement, allegedly copied and pasted by the Phoenix Police, relating to the general activities of the protesters, not a specific person, and accusing them of vandalism and pelting at police officers with bottles and fireworks from police officers wearing tactical uniforms and equipment of the Phoenix police, “says the Erk clarification. “They continued circling downtown, lighting small fires, throwing bottles and stones at officials, damaging windows and spraying several buildings, streets and sidewalks on a response unit that responded to the May 30, 2020 protests and gave the green light to them There was a strategy of indiscriminate mass arrests. The police defendants “undoubtedly knew about the plans of the PPD officials to ’round up’ protesters or alleged demonstrators and authorized them,” says the complaint. One of the defendants, Lieutenant Benjamin Moore, who is also “Field Force Commander” of the Tactical Response Unit, authorized the “indiscriminate use of force against largely non-violent demonstrators,” according to the lawsuit. And Sergeant Douglas McBride, who is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit, similarly authorized the division’s action against the demonstrators that night. Chief Jeri Williams is charged with failing to discipline officials for their role in the May 30th events. Plaintiffs are seeking damages and an “injunction” prohibiting the city from engaging in similar “unconstitutional conduct” in the future and ordering the city to revise its policies to ensure that a similar incident does not recur. Update: Dan Wilson, a spokesman for the city administrator’s office, wrote in an email shortly after this article was published that the city was “detailing the allegations.” He also wrote that the city is “committed to the safety and constitutional rights of all residents and visitors” and that a company called 21CP Solutions has been engaged “to conduct an independent review of the Phoenix Police’s policies and procedures examined the public ”. Demonstrations. “Keep the Phoenix New Times free … Since we started the Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we want it to stay that way. We give our readers free access to concise coverage about local news, food and culture. We produce stories about everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with bold coverage, stylish writing and staff who won it all from the Society’s Sigma Delta Chi Feature Writing Award of Professional Journalists to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism, but with the existence of local journalism under siege and adversity setbacks having a greater impact, it is now more important than ever for us to raise funds to fund our local journalism. You can help by joining our “I Support” membership program, there s allows us to continue serving Phoenix without paywalls. Josh Kelety is a writer for Phoenix New Times. He previously worked as a reporter for Inlander and Seattle Weekly.

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