Phoenix council members say protests diverting attention from serial shooter investigation

Posted at 11:40 AM, Jul 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-17 09:45:15-04

Two city council members sayrecent protests around the Valley are actually diverting police resources and attention away from the serial shooter investigation that has claimed the lives of several in the West Valley. 

Sal DiCiccio and Michael Nowakowski, with the City of Phoenix City Council, released a joint statement saying recent Black Lives Matter protests, which have happened over the span of the last two weekends, may be causing problems for the police department's resources. 

RELATED: Serial killers in Phoenix: Baseline Killer and Serial Shooters terrorized Valley in 2005 and 2006

"I understand the right to march and the right to protest. But every single weekend? C'mon we need to go after that serial killer," Nowakowski said. "We need to make sure that the police officers that were using out there to protect and serve the individuals of the protest that we have them out there for are protecting and serving the citizens of Maryvale."

RELATED: Former FBI agent says serial Phoenix shooter could have grudge against shooting areas

In a released statement, they said the Phoenix Police Department has also acknowledged that the planning and follow-through of the protests "may drain resources away from the serial killer investigation," according to both council members. 

Their hope is that "a more constructive way of dealing" with the concerns from citizens is found so that less resources are devoted to the protests and instead devoted to the serial shooter investigation. 

At Friday's protest near 24th Street and Camelback, organizer Reverend Jarrett Maupin said the demonstrations were on par with other major events in the city.

"This is as important as the P.F. Chang's [Rock n' Roll Arizona] Marathon or any other event we have in our community, so I don't apologize for the officers being here," Rev. Maupin said, ag that the police presence was unnecessary and could have been put to other uses.

"The cost between tonight and Friday could have put a few more body cameras on the street and I told them that," said Maupin.

The Phoenix Police Department said it did not yet have an estimate of the cost for officers at the Camelback event. Officials said the previous week's march through downtown Phoenix cost $100,000.

ABC15 has extensively covered the serial shootings that have plagued the Valley, for more information click here.