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'We believe they were determined to break into the building': DPS issues its report on Friday night's events

Hundreds of people gathered outside the Arizona State Capitol in downtown Phoenix Friday in response to the Supreme Court's ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade.

PHOENIX — Last night hundreds of people gathered outside the Arizona State Capitol in downtown Phoenix Friday in response to the Supreme Court's ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade. DPS says an active criminal investigation is underway.

The Supreme Court decision ends nearly 50 years of federally guaranteed access to abortion and will have long-term consequences for reproductive health.

The consequences for women in Arizona now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned will undoubtedly limit their health care options in the state. 

DPS responds

Saturday, officials with the Arizona Department of Public Safety issued a statement condemning Friday night's protest as "anarchical and criminal actions by masses of splinter groups."

DPS said that "the violence of [protestors'] efforts literally shook the building and terrified citizens and law makers who occupied the building."

"Due to the direct threat to the occupants of the Senate building and damage to the building itself, Arizona State Troopers took immediate action and utilized tactics including the deployment of field force teams and tear gas."

DPS has confirmed that children were in the crowd by the time the protest was declared an unlawful assembly.

The statement says that the crowd was warned multiple times before tear gas was used. "We believe they were determined to break into the building," said an official with the department.

Officials shared a collection of images of property damage that occurred Friday night.

DPS named the following memorials and properties in their damage report:

  • Wesley Bolin Memorial Amphitheatre
  • 158th Regimental Memorial
  • Arizona Peace Officers Memorial
  • Korean War Memorial
  • Arizona Law Enforcement Canine Memorial
  • Operation Enduring Freedom Memorial
  • Lt. Frank Luke Jr. Memorial

At this time, DPS has not announced any arrests in connection with the Phoenix protest. DPS officials have announced six arrests in connection with similar protests in Tucson.

DPS officials say that an active criminal investigation is underway.

RELATED: Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade; states can ban abortion

RELATED: 'Knowing this day was coming doesn’t dull the pain': What Arizona leaders, lawmakers said about Roe v. Wade being overturned

Updates from Friday night

10:20 p.m. - Tear gas, and flashbangs were deployed at a pro-abortion protest in downtown Phoenix Friday night.

9:16 p.m. - Statement from Arizona DPS.

9:13 p.m. - View from inside the Senate lobby.

9:08 p.m. - Phoenix fire is now on the scene as a palm tree appears on fire. 

9:02 p.m. - A look inside the building.

8:58 p.m. - Outside of the Arizona State Senate building.

8:56 p.m. - Tweet from Arizona State Senator Kelly Townsend.

8:51 p.m. - NOW: Flashbangs and tear gas used outside the Arizona State Capitol as protestors were gathered. An unlawful assembly has been declared. 

8:46 p.m. - Chants from the crowd

7:30 p.m. - Bianca Buono is live as the crowd is marching from the state Capitol in response to the Supreme Court decision.

Posted by 12 News on Friday, June 24, 2022

7:22 p.m. - The group is on the move beginning to march from the Capitol.

6:58 p.m. - Crowds are forming outside the Arizona State Capitol.

3:45 p.m. - Arizona abortion providers halt services after Roe v. Wade ruling.

1:45 p.m. - A look at 50 years of Supreme Court abortion decisions.

8:00 a.m. - What does the decision from the Supreme Court mean for Arizona?

7:17 a.m. - BREAKING: The Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade

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