Police brutality protesters hit Phoenix, Tempe streets

Posted at 8:04 PM, Jul 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-16 14:53:33-04

Civil rights rallies kicked off in Phoenix and Tempe Friday night, with protesters and counter-protesters facing off in the streets. 

Rev. Jarrett Maupin led the sit-in at 24th Street and Camelback. The group moved into 24th Street, blocking traffic in both directions.

Phoenix Police Chief Joe Yahner arrived at the protest around 8:45 p.m. to pick up a 12-point plan that Maupin and his team created, said to help improve the police force.

After Chief Yahner received the plan, which was signed by many of the protesters in attendance, Maupin and the group left the street and returned to the curb.

This is Maupin's second such event in as many weeks. Last Friday, a downtown Phoenix march organized by Maupin ended with police deploying pepper spray at a crowd of about 1,000 people and with three arrests.

A second anti-police-brutality rally was also held on and near Mill Avenue in Tempe.

The march started at 9th Street and Wilson in the Maple Ash neighborhood. It was organized through a Facebook page, saying everyone was invited to stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. However, the planners were not tied to any specific organization. 

Nearly 400 people indicated they planned to attend. Many of the first to arrive wore black shirts and carried bottles of water on the hot summer night.

The march route was not released ahead of the event. The starting point is about one mile from Tempe police headquarters. It is also a few blocks from Mill Avenue, with busy restaurants and bars on a Friday night.

"We are hoping for a peaceful demonstration and people to get to express their views without incident," Tempe police spokesman Lt. Mike Pooley said. 

The city is planning a town hall meeting next week to discuss race and community policing.

The protest in Tempe ended at about 9:15 p.m. A smaller group broke off and continued marching down Ash headed toward University Avenue. 

See map of protests below.