Rep. Gallego urges Mayor Stanton to hear from community in Trump protest investigation

Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams commended Phoenix police for protecting lives and property at Trump's rally Tuesday night.

PHOENIX - The morning following President Donald Trump's rally and a violent protest, Arizona Congressman Ruben Gallego issued a statement calling on the Phoenix mayor to provide the community with a "full and transparent" investigation of police actions taken on protesters.

The Phoenix Police Department said four protesters were arrested after Trump spoke at the Phoenix Convention Center Tuesday night. Phoenix police fired pepper balls and smoke bombs to disperse protesters as Trump supporters were leaving the rally.

READ: Trump rally protest ends with police firing pepper balls, arresting 4

Gallego, in the statement, said he called Mayor Greg Stanton Tuesday evening to request a "full and transparent" investigation of the events that led the Phoenix Police Department's actions.

The statement continued to say that Gallego is asking Stanton and the Phoenix City Council to hold a community meeting to seek input from the community to assist in the investigation.

"We owe it to the community to understand what happened and ensure that we can continue to cultivate trust and accountability during these times of increased tensions," Gallego said in the statement.

Gallego was not the only public official to make a comment regarding Tuesday's events.

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery released a statement Wednesday morning thanking police for the way they "swiftly and decisively" handled the events.

"Coverage of the actions of the different groups engaged in the activities last night in our Downtown area make clear that the Phoenix Police Department exercised appropriate restraint and resolve in controlling a difficult situation," Montgomery said in the statement.

In a statement Mayor Stanton said he was "committed" to making sure the department does a "thorough and transparent review" of the events that transpired Tuesday night.

He also said he was "incredibly proud" of the thousands who exercised their First Amendment rights peacefully during the protests. 

"I have reached out to leaders of the organizations that took part in the rally, and both Chief Williams and I will sit down with them next week to hear their perspectives and concerns," he said.

Wednesday morning, the Phoenix Police Department said the first gas dispersed was from someone in the crowd, not by police. People in the crowd began to throw rocks, bottles, and other projectiles at police and fights were breaking out, police said.

The statement from Phoenix PD confirmed officers used smoke, pepper balls, pepper spray, tear gas, and flash bangs. Police said those tools and tactics create "sound and light but not harmful effects."

The investigation is ongoing. 

© 2017 KPNX-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment