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DPS: 9 arrests made in connection to weekend protests in Phoenix, charges dropped against some protesters

The Department of Public Safety has announced nine arrests following two pro-choice protests in Phoenix.

PHOENIX — Editor's note: the above video is from a previously aired broadcast.

Nine people have been arrested following multiple pro-choice protests over the weekend, officials with the Department of Public Safety said.

According to a statement from DPS, roughly 1,200 people attended an event on Saturday to protest the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Officials said the protest and march through downtown Phoenix to the Capitol was peaceful.

However, around 50 people remained after other protesters left the event around 11:30 p.m. DPS said "numerous agitators forcefully tore down and damaged the fence that was set up around the House and Senate Plaza."

DPS said they responded after the fence had been torn down to take four people into custody as they were trying to get through a second fence.

Credit: 12 News
Protesters tear down fencing at the Arizona Capitol building.

The four people arrested on Saturday were booked on charges that included rioting, disorderly conduct and trespassing.

According to the video of their initial court appearance, the judge found no probable cause. 

"I find that there are missing elements, including the violence aspect of the rioting charge, the fighting aspect of the disorderly conduct charge," the judge said.

The judge also called into question DPS' arrest reports claiming the suspects used a drone camera. 

"The generic statement of saying identified using as a DPS drone camera footage on these facts the court finds is not sufficient."

Although details regarding Sunday night are more scarce, DPS has confirmed that five arrests were made during the evening.

One person was arrested on vandalism charges.

According to DPS, four others were arrested for "failure to produce identification."

Arizona Politics

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How big is Maricopa County?:

Maricopa County is the United States’ 4th largest county in terms of population with 4,485,414 people, according to the 2020 Census. 

The county contains around 63% of Arizona’s population and is 9,224 square miles. That makes the county larger than seven U.S. states (Rhode Island, Delaware, Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey, Massachusetts and New Hampshire). 

One of the largest park systems in the nation is also located in Maricopa County. The county has an estimated 120,000 acres of open space parks that includes hundreds of miles of trails, nature centers and campgrounds. 

The county’s seat is located in Phoenix, which is also the state capital and the census-designated 5th most populous city in the United States. 

The county was named after the Maricopa, or Piipaash, Native American Tribe.  

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