Suit alleges Phoenix police retaliated against protesters

A lawsuit alleges Phoenix officers retaliated against 124 people at a protest of police violence nearly a year ago by arresting them on trumped-up criminal charges that were quickly dismissed.

Lawyers who filed the lawsuit said the actions of the officers chilled the free-speech rights of protesters, contending officers were partially motivated "by the desire to silence and disrupt plaintiffs’ actual or perceived protected anti-police-violence views."

The lawsuit was filed against the city of Phoenix and Police Chief Jeri Williams by 23 people who were arrested during the May 30, 2020, protest in downtown Phoenix. 

Demonstrators were protesting George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis and Dion Johnson’s death in metro Phoenix as officers were trying to arrest them.

City spokesman Dan Wilson declined to comment on the allegations, but said the city has hired a consulting firm to examine Phoenix police policies related to public demonstrations.

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