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Anti-police brutality rally held in downtown Phoenix

PHOENIX — Protesters gathered in sweltering heat in downtown Phoenix to decry the
shooting death of an unarmed teen in Ferguson, Missouri.

The Rev. Jarrett Maupin and United In Red organizer Lauryn Mangum were among the leaders of Saturday’s outside Phoenix City Hall.

Approximately 75 demonstrators stood in a shaded spot outside city hall starting at 11 a.m.

A majority of the protesters wore red T-shirts to symbolize the color of blood.

The rally appeared relatively peaceful as demonstrators took turns speaking
about police brutality and racial profiling.

Five plainclothes officers from the Phoenix police’s community response squad
were also present.

A press release from Maupin said the rally was in response to Michael Brown’s death near St. Louis and the ongoing investigation of Michelle Cusseaux’s death at the hands of a Phoenix police officer.

Phoenix-area civil rights supporters are joining a national call, according to Maupin, for an end to the 1033 Program — in which local police agencies are “gifted” military-style equipment from the feds — and for funding for mental illnesses, among other objectives.

“We are gathering today to, once again, focus the nation’s attention on Phoenix as we deal with our own version of Ferguson. We cannot allow the death of Michelle Cusseaux and others to happen without calling for justice, Maupin said. “What we need is for County Attorney Bill Montgomery or Attorney General Tom Horne to step up and investigate these killings and unchecked violence against citizens, many of whom are people of color.”

Protests have been taking place in several cities across the country since the
Aug. 9 shooting of the 18-year-old Brown.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.