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MAP: When and where Friday night protests are happening

Posted at 11:56 AM, Jul 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-16 01:05:49-04

Several protests are scheduled around the Valley for Friday evening in attempts of bringing attention to the string of recent deaths of African American civilians at the hands of police officers around the nation. 

LIVE VIDEO: Police brutality protesters arrive in Biltmore area.

Anonymous had scheduled a "nationwide call to action" at 5 p.m. in downtown Phoenix at 1549 E. Jefferson Street, but an ABC15 crew did not see any participants.

Community members in Tempe have a march scheduled for 8 p.m. to begin at 9th and Wilson streets to "march against the racial and social injustice caused by police violence." As of noon, over 300 people said they were attending via a Facebook invite. 

Event organizer Reverend Jarrett Maupin tells ABC15 a peaceful sit-in will start at 8:00 p.m. and should last at least until 11:00 p.m. at the intersection of Camelback Road and 24th Street.

Many businesses in the area closed early or closed completely because they did not want to put their employees in the crosshairs.

"It's really upsetting, you know, that we can't come to work. Well, some of us can't come to work-- some of us choose to come to work because of things that are just getting out of hand," Jessica Batten said.

Batten works in the area and said her employer told her it was up to her whether or not she wanted to come to the office on Friday.

"If things get too out of hand and crazy down here, then definitely go home and take the safety precautions that we need," Batten said.

She told ABC15 that she was not concerned but admits that those inside her office are remaining alert.

"I'm hoping that it will be a peaceful protest and doesn't get too crazy, like the last protest that almost ended up near the I-10 freeway,” Battan said.

She is referring to last Friday, when tear gas and pepper spray were deployed by officers when crowds turned confrontational. Three people were arrested.

Rev. Jarrett Maupin, who is organizing the Friday event, said this is supposed to be a peaceful sit-in.

Phoenix police are not going into specifics on how they will operate among the crowds, but on one the street corners there are signs of support for officers.

A couple of men came out holdings signs, saying "Back the Blue" around 5 p.m. Friday. Mike Schaan was holding one of those signs, telling ABC15 that his brother is an Arizona officer.

"My whole plan was to come out here before," Schaan explained. "Because this is the busiest time of the day. So, I want people to see that I support police and just to try to get the message across in the busiest time of the day."

Sichuan said that he will stay out holding his sign if the event stays peaceful, like it is planned.

There are potential impacts to the bus service in the Biltmore area, click here for more information.