City manager seeking independent review of Phoenix police response to Trump rally

Posted at 1:21 PM, Aug 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-30 10:42:31-04

In a letter to Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams, Phoenix City Manager Ed Zuercher said he is seeking an independent review of the department's preparation and response to President Trump's rally on August 22

Zuercher said he will be engaging an outside firm through the city attorney.    

In the letter, Zuercher commended the department, saying, "In an emotional atmosphere, our police officers showed professionalism in ensuring the safety and First Amendment rights of the community."

Four people were arrested during protests after the rally.  

Police say officers used pepper balls, tear gas, flash bangs, and pepper spray to quell the protesters. 

"With the high-profile nature of the events and community concerns and support expressed, it is important to use outside expertise to add a layer of objective review in this situation," Zuercher said.  

According to the letter, the review will take 90 days to complete and will be made public.  

Mayor Greg Stanton issued a statement supporting Zuercher's decision to move forward with an independent review.  

"The independent review will examine the circumstances that led to a response and the tactics involved in the Phoenix police efforts to disperse the crowd. A professional independent review is the most objective and transparent way we can move forward," Stanton said.

According to Stanton's statement, he and Chief Williams will sit down with the leaders of several of the groups who organized the Trump protest to hear their perspectives and concerns.  

Zuercher's letter to Chief Williams is below: