Hundreds of activists upset over the deaths of two African-American men at the hands of police officers marched through downtown Phoenix.
The rally and march was organized by local civil rights activist, Reverend Jarrett Maupin, coming just about 24 hours after 12 police officers were shot, 5 killed, at a similar rally in Dallas, Texas.
Maupin's rally moved forward despite requests from the City of Phoenix Mayor, Police Chief, and other civil rights activists to postpone the rally. The Arizona chapter of Black Lives Matter issued a statement saying they did not endorse the rally.
"We also publicly announce that we have nothing to do with the planned protest or march this evening. Rev Jarrett Maupin does not represent Arizona Black Lives Matter and his event is not sanctioned by Arizona Black Lives Matter," said Rev. D. Walton Chairperson.
The march remained mostly peaceful here in Phoenix and across the nation as rallies took place Friday evening nationwide.
Some activists were seen chanting "Black Lives Matter", pro-police activists countered with Blue Lives Matter, and others chanted All Lives Matter.
Activists plan to march through the streets to Phoenix Police HQ, to the Maricopa County Superior Court, and through downtown Phoenix before returning to City Hall.
Dozens of Phoenix Police officers in uniform and plainclothes marched with the protesters ensuring security and blocking the streets.
Phoenix city councilman Sal DiCiccio had asked the city manager to revoke any permits for tonight's protestors and he wants demonstrators to wait at least a week to show respect and safety for police and citizens due to the events in Dallas.
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton released the following statement about the planned demonstration:
“This planned protest scheduled for this evening outside Phoenix City Hall is not a city-sponsored event. The event organizers did not ask for and do not need a permit, or permission from the City, for an event like this.
There is a painful but very critical national discussion happening regarding the relationship between police and the communities they serve, and I believe Phoenix residents should be heard.
However, in light of the horrific events in Dallas, I also believe – that for safety’s sake – the organizers should reconsider their plans and hold off on this event until another day.
If the organizers choose to go forward and exercise their First Amendment rights tonight, the City of Phoenix will do everything in our power to make sure the public, and our police officers are safe.”
At least three people were arrested for throwing rocks at officers, and six were people injured. The three people arrested have been identified as Andre Hendrix, Christian Soto and Devin Brooks.