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Protesters rally in Phoenix to demand police reform following deadly shootings

They called for the creation of an unarmed crisis assistance program separate from law enforcement to respond to non-violent and non-criminal calls.

PHOENIX — A passionate protest led by the W.E. Rising Project near Phoenix City Hall on Thursday demanded a new approach to policing. 

The demonstrators are calling for a new response group to take over non-violent police calls.

This call came after a series of traumatic deadly police shootings across the country and here in the Valley, including the shooting death of 17-year-old Anthony Cano in Chandler.

It seems never ending," said protester Marcela Mas. "Sometimes we want to quit, but we also can’t, we won’t because there’s no other option."

About 100 protesters took part in the rally on Thursday. They marched around the council chamber, demanding a stop to police killings. 

The W.E. Rising Project along with NOCAP is proposing a neighborhood crisis assistance program that would respond to non-violent calls instead of officers. 

“A lot of these calls require very extensive knowledge, certification and a nuanced understanding of behavior health,” said Jacob Raiford, an organizer with the W.E. Rising Project.

“It’s not OK, this police brutality and the way they are tearing people of color just in a way they shouldn’t be treated,” said protester Reuben Magdaleno.

“Complacency is unthinkable when it’s peoples' lives,” said Mas.

The protesters noted that police didn’t show up to this scheduled rally, at least visibly, despite them only being blocks away. The organizers said they wanted to have a dialogue with them.

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