City request for independent review into police action at Trump rally withdrawn

Posted at 9:00 PM, Aug 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-31 09:48:58-04

After a Phoenix City Council meeting that lasted over five hours it was decided that Phoenix City Manager Ed Zuercher would not move forward with plans to hire an outside independent firm to review actions of Phoenix police after last week’s President Trump rally.

Zuercher said he wanted the independent review to have an objective source that would get to the bottom of what happened after the rally.

But during the Phoenix City Council meeting Wednesday, many people who were at the rally argued that an independent review chosen by the city would be biased toward the police department.

Because of that, Zuercher decided to withdraw his request for the outside review.

The meeting became very heated and even volatile at times. The crowd often cheered and shouted down any opposing speakers as people lined up to share their stories.

"We were being peaceful — trying to protect the people that police were attacking," one woman explained.

Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams did not attend the meeting. She told ABC15 a few people threw objects at police and her officers used pepper spray and tear gas to break up the crowd.

"People who had their skin burning, people who were crying, people who had snot running down their faces, people who couldn't physically take themselves away from the crowd," another attendee described.

Some speakers even went as far to say that police had premeditated the attack against protesters.

"In my opinion, these barricades were set up to cause a stampede so that people would be trampled when they launched the gas," another woman said. "They were very away of what was happening there that day."

Many groups, like Puente, said they do not want the external group OIR to conduct the independent investigation.

"For us, it's important that this review is actually driven by the community because it was the community who was attacked," Leidy Robledo, a spokesperson for Puente, said.

The crowd yelled and drowned out a military veteran who said protesters turned violent.

"The issue is if you're going to keep catering to these mobs..." the vet described.

The Phoenix Police Department will still hold its own review of events after the rally. It’s unclear when those results will be made available.

Watch a portion of the meeting here: