PHOENIX — Protests sparked by the killing of an unarmed man at the hands of Phoenix police — and energized by the “no indictment” decision in the chokehold death of a Staten Island man during a police altercation — were mainly peaceful in downtown Phoenix, according to multiple reports.
The protests were staged near “First Friday” functions on Roosevelt Road in Phoenix and at one point included more than 100 people, according to one report.
Phx First Friday protest has grown. Now hundreds marching. Police threatening to make arrests if they block street pic.twitter.com/ppYq7oMDoE
— Jared Dillingham (@JaredDillingham) December 6, 2014
Though a “die-in” was staged at one point and police reportedly threatened to make arrests of jaywalkers throughout the night.
This, after one Valley activist held fear that an anarchist group could turn things violent during the protests.
Nearly 200 members of anarchist groups, such as the Dark Carnival Anarchoclowns, posted on Facebook that they would meet at 8 p.m. Friday near Fifth and Garfield streets. They said they intended to show “solidarity with everyone who is a victim of racial profiling and/or police brutality.”
The Rev. Jarrett Maupin, a local activist, was not in support of the march.
“The group that is protesting tonight is actually involved with several anarchist groups,” he said Friday afternoon while a guest on KTAR News. “They have had a tendency to engage in violent behavior. We saw some of that several days ago when they broke storefront windows in Old Town Scottsdale.”
Maupin said the group is predominantly white, but is protesting against what it sees a police brutality against African-Americans in places like Ferguson, New York City and now Phoenix after officers killed an unarmed black man. He said the group is not affiliated with or supported by any other groups that have been protesting the past few nights in the Valley.
“Protest in a non-violent, peaceful, and dignified way to honor the lives of the people that we’ve lost to police brutality,” he said.
Phoenix police said Friday in a written statement they are aware of the potential protest. They ensured that they would have “enough (personnel) on hand to ensure a peaceful night.”
As of 10 p.m., no arrests had been made.
KTAR’s Bob McClay contributed to this story.