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Phoenix will not move forward with review of police actions at Trump rally

Phoenix police keep the streets clear as people protest outside the Phoenix Convention Center, Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017, in Phoenix. Protests were held against President Donald Trump as he hosted a rally inside the convention center. (AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX — The Phoenix City Council will not continue with an independent investigation into the actions of Phoenix Police Department during a protest at a President Donald Trump rally last week.

The city council did not vote on the measure after Phoenix City Manager Ed Zuercher withdrew his recommendation to authorize OIR Group to conduct an independent review of police actions during the rally.

Zuercher withdrew the recommendation after five city councilmembers said they would not support the item. Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton supported the measure.

Newly-reelected Councilman Sal DiCiccio wrote on Twitter that “we won and won big tonight.”

The motion to withdraw the recommendation came late Wednesday night, after city council members listened to five-plus hours of citizen comments. A majority of the comments spoke out against the actions of the police department.

During last week’s rally at the Phoenix Convention Center, the area around the building was surrounded by thousands of people protesting peacefully.

But just three hours later, as Trump was wrapping up his speech, the protests devolved into officers using different chemical means to disperse crowds after several people allegedly became violent. Four protesters were arrested.

By the end of the week, U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego had called for an investigation into the event and Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams said her department would conduct a review.

On Monday, Zuercher noted the department’s “professionalism in ensuring the safety and First Amendment rights of the community” in a letter to Williams, but explained that the city was going forward with an assessment from an outside firm due to the concerns from the community.

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