Friday, February 17, 2017

AZMEX I3 17-2-17

AZMEX I3 17 FEB 2017

Note: Aside from Flagstaff and Tempe, Tucson is the most progressive city in AZ. Unknown why legal immigrants would need to have support from the protesters. Video at link: BTW, some time spent yesterday in a immigrant rich area of Phx. showed no signs of a "day without immigrants".

Protesters clash with police in downtown Tucson
Multiple people detained

Whitney Clark, Mac Colson
6:30 PM, Feb 16, 2017
4 hours ago

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Protestors and police clashed in downtown Tucson Thursday night after dozens of people showed up to for a rally to support immigrants and undocumented immigrants.

This comes after nationwide protests over recent ICE actions and President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration.

According to the Tucson Police Department, three men and one woman were arrested. TPD says the three men are facing felony charges for aggravated assault on a peace officer, and the woman is facing misdemeanor charges including obstruction and failing to provide identification.

TPD says three officers were assaulted and had minor injuries, but couldn't elaborate on those injuries. Sgt. Pete Dugan tells KGUN 9 that one of the officers was kicked in the face, the other was hit in the back, and he didn't know the specifics of the third officer involved. None of them were taken to the hospital, Dugan said.

The event was planned by the group L.U.P.E. who says it has had protests before in Tucson. Stteffanny Cott, an organizer with the group, says they have never had issues with police. She says the event was intended to be peaceful.

Cott says the group of about 150 originally met in front of the Federal building on Congress Street. Cott says they decided to start marching and that's when a Tucson Police Department vehicle pulled up and blocked them.

Cott claims that one officer was revving his engine, and nudged one of the demonstrators. Cott believes police provoked the protestors and they were met with "indifference."

"We've worked in the past with the Tucson Police Department, we don't really understand why today was any different," Cott said. "No one in their rightful mind would think this is a correct response to what was happening."

"We take the safety of our rallies and of our protests very seriously, and we stress the importance of it being safe," Cott said. "No one was in any type of danger or in jeopardy."

Sgt. Dugan says officers had been monitoring the protestors and had been in contact with organizers before the event. He says around 6 p.m. when protestors moved onto the street, officers wanted to move them onto the sidewalk for safety reasons.

At some point Dugan says someone in the crowd hit an officer in the back. As police attempted to take that person into custody, Dugan says a crowd started surrounding the officers. One of the officers deployed pepper spray, Dugan says, in order to disperse the crowd.

Once the suspect was taken into a vehicle, Dugan says the protestors began blocking the TPD car and locking arms around it. At that point Dugan says two people were taken into custody.

"From what I understand is that it was very peaceful at the beginning, then you have individuals, you have one that assaults an officer, you have individuals blocking a police car and hindering our investigation," Dugan said. "At that point those people are no longer peacefully protesting they are actually committing criminal offenses."

"There have been a lot of protests here in Tucson and around the nation," Dugan said. "I'd like to think that most of them are very peaceful here. We like to let people exercise their First Amendment rights. The only time we get involved is if they start to block streets and that hasn't been arranged beforehand."

Dugan says the investigation is still ongoing, and he did not know if the officers involved were wearing body cameras.

Cott says there were children at the rally, and there were elderly people that were pepper sprayed. Sgt. Dugan said he did not have any information on the ages of the people involved.

The four people arrested have not been identified yet.




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