Phoenix overtime costs for downtown Trump rally exceeded $560K
PHOENIX — The city of Phoenix said it spent more than $560,000 on overtime for police officers and firefighters who worked at President Donald Trump’s August rally in downtown, up from the original figure of $450,000.
The city said the 882 police officers at the event were paid a combined $477,226 in overtime, while the 103 fire department workers were paid a total of $83,157 in extra pay.
“Because our department is so large and officers have various days off and hours, it generally takes longer than anticipated until all [overtime] requests are submitted and processed,” Phoenix Police Sgt. Jonathan Howard said of the discrepancy from the earlier numbers.
The city’s Street Transportation Department paid $49,767 in overtime.
Two other departments — water services and public works — were hit with relatively small overtime bills of $4,481 and $2,928.
The city said it also spent $12,177 on barriers and other equipment.
Hundreds of police officers worked the area outside of the convention center in the hours leading up to, during and after Trump’s rally.
The protests began relatively peacefully, but things escalated after the president wrapped up his speech.
Officers eventually used tear gas, pepper balls and other means to disperse the crowd. The Monday report blamed some of the violence on antifa, a leftist group that protests events nationwide.
Police Chief Jeri Williams commended her officers’ actions, but conducted a full review of the situation and planned to make some changes to the way the department handled the situation.
The American Civil Liberties Union — which sued over the protest — said the report showed officers failed to protect First Amendment rights.
“There are many videos of officers attacking protesters with pepper spray and projectiles at dangerously close range,” the group said in a statement. “It is shocking and disheartening that the department determined this excessive use of force was justified.”