Immigration supporters rally outside Phoenix Police Headquarters

A group of protesters rallied in front of Phoenix Police headquarters Saturday

PHOENIX - A group of protesters rallied in front of Phoenix Police headquarters Saturday to bring attention to a hot button issue they say is re-emerging within their community.

“We don’t want the Phoenix Police or police from Mesa or any cities to start doing what Arpaio did and that was racially profiling our community,” said Sylvia Herrera one of the event’s organizers.

Herrera was referencing former Maricopa County Joe Arpaio who is awaiting trial on criminal charges related to racial profiling within the Sheriff’s officer while he was in charge.

Herrera and other members of the Barrio Defense Committees held signs and chanted as they walked through downtown Phoenix.

“We've had members of our committees that have been stopped for routine traffic infractions and ICE (U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement) has been called and they've been detained for over an hour,” Herrera said.

Which per Herrera is a violation of established protocol.

Demonstrators say the current mood towards immigration in the United States is filling their community with fear.

Nine year old Lisbeth Perez Garcia who was at the March with her father says while she was born here and her parents are now citizens her 21-year-old brother is not.

“I hope the best for my brother so he doesn't get deported back,” She said.

Walking alongside demonstrators were also members of the Phoenix Police Department.

While officers were there as a safety precaution, they also helped organizers re-route their planned march due to an event downtown.

Showing how the two groups can work together despite ongoing issues.

In the past Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams has said she's dedicated to maintaining open communication with the city's diverse communities and that she will not tolerate racial profiling.

Organizers of the protest also told 12 News they recently met with leaders of the Phoenix Police Department hoping to build a better relationship.

Part of that they say is making sure their voices are heard.

“I'm a citizen and my daughter is a citizen but I always support this because I don't like unfair things,” said demonstrator Roberto Perez. 

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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