PHOENIX (KSAZ) - The organizer of Friday night's protest says the event was a big success. At least one marcher says she believes the demonstration was going smoothly until the decision was made to go on the freeway. She feels very passionate about Black Lives Matter and enjoyed the march. She's Caucasian and says she's made friends with Muslims, Hispanics, and Blacks that night, but thought the organizer, Rev. Jarett Maupin, was reckless.
Maryanne Williamson knows she may not be who people expect to see speaking out about a Black Lives Matter protest, but she felt compelled after attending Friday night's rally in Phoenix.
"Put people in harms way; there were kids down there. This didn't need to happen. When you decide to take something to the freeway you're risking the lives of everyone who is driving, everyone who is walking, and I don't think it needed to be pushed that far," said Williamson.
"This was a civil rights protest. This was not a trip to Knotts Berry Farm," said Rev. Maupin.
Maupin says he switched the march's route because he got a call from those living in the Roosevelt District south of the freeway and was worried about security for the marchers.
"Upper middle class historical residential area. There were concerns over gun owners and whether we would encounter that (violence) on a dark street," said Maupin.
Maupin says he is not responsible for hundreds of people who broke off from the march and headed for the freeway at 7th Street. Despite the confrontation with police, he says it was a good event that turned out exactly how he wanted it.
"Not only will I do it again, but we are doing it again and next time on Camelback Road," he said.
Others don't feel Maupin is the right person to lead activists.
"I don't think a person like this should be leading a protest or any civil rights," said Williamson.
Maupin insists there was no plan to go on the freeway, but on live television more than once he spoke about the plan to march on the freeway.
As a precaution, Interstate 10 was shut down when protesters got close.
Maupin said he was pretty proud of Phoenix, saying it was the only city that got the freeway shut down without anyone setting foot on it.
Williamson says she will do more research on march organizers before participating anymore.